This is a variation on a salad from a book (Salad Love) my mother bought me and used up some bits I bought on the market on Saturday.

The original recipe calls for boiled new potatoes (yum), but I had lots of potatoes yesterday so didn’t fancy any more for lunch today. The book also expects you to make your own basil “dressing”, which looked suspiciously like pesto. I have made pesto before and it is enjoyable but one hell of a faff to make, so I bought a jar of super-virtuous but ludicrously expensive organic vegan TerraSana pesto verde. (5€ for 180g but has done me three meals so far) from the organic shop.

I have recently discovered quinoa, so any excuse, really. I used it to replace the potatoes for bulk. Also, I forgot to buy bread yesterday so needed filling, and it was a bit hot so I didn’t fancy popping an emergency baguette into the oven.

  • a handful of French beans, topped and tailed and boiled
  • a small red onion, finely chopped
  • as many olives as I could be bothered removing from the stone
  • half a dozen cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 100g quinoa
  • “healthy” teaspoon of pesto

Steam or boil the green beans until tender (I like them to offer a bit of resistance). Cook the quinoa; I use one 100g glass of quinoa to two glasses of water. Fluff. Put the quinoa in a bowl and throw the rest on top, French beans last. Dollop the pesto onto the hot beans and season.

It was nice. The ingredients were bought last week (market and organic shop) so don’t really come out of the fiver. But I only bought 100g or so of beans from the market, which were about a euro, and the cherry tomatoes were about the same.