Colourful spring salad

I'm not a big fan of spring, never have been, because I suffer from hay fever (and magpie attacks when I used to live in Australia). I do, however, love spring colours, which is what inspired me to put this dish together. It is bright and is perfect for a warm, sunny, spring day. Having grown up in the tropics and heavily influenced by Australian culture, this salad obviously has succulent prawns in it - if you are allergic to shellfish, or just don't like prawns, please feel free to substitute this with spiced tofu, or grilled chicken. What's important is having meaty pieces to sink your teeth into.

Fresh tomatoes from sustainable sources are a must in this dish!

Fresh tomatoes from sustainable sources are a must in this dish!

Colourful spring salad with yuzu dressing (serves 2-3)
125g cherry tomatoes, halved (£1.10)
150g jumbo king prawns (£4.99)
1 whole avocado, cubed (£1)
170g 3 colour quinoa blend (£1.39)
1/2 mango, cubed (£0.83p)
1 fresh jalapeño, sliced (£0.25p)
125g organic buffalo mozzarella (£2.55)
15g mint, roughly chopped (£0.50p)
30ml sesame oil (£0.20p)
2tbsp yuzu juice (£2.70)
Salt and pepper, to taste
100g lightly salted tortillas (optional, £0.48p)
Total cost: £15.51 (without tortillas)

Cook the quinoa as per packet instructions. Whilst the quinoa is cooking, combined all the other ingredients in a large bowl. Then, to prepare the vinaigrette, simply mix the sesame oil and yuzu juice in a small jar or airtight container and give it a good shake. Once the quinoa is cooked and drained, fold it into the rest of the salad. Season with salt and pepper. Tear the mozzarella into the salad, and fold carefully. Divide into smaller bowls and dress with the yuzu vinaigrette. Add tortillas on the side if you fancy it!

Yuzu is something I've only recently discovered, which is commonly used in Japanese cuisine. I think the yuzu dressing goes well with this salad, adding a layer of tartness to the sweetness of the mango and the tomatoes. As the jalapeno gives a kick to this dish, the sesame oil also gives a good aroma to the salad, which is reminiscent of Asian home cooking. Of course this may not suit everyone's tastes, and as I always say, feel free to experiment with these recipes to make it work for you! The salad ingredients are versatile and can work with other flavour combinations, for example, a cider vinaigrette!

Hungry for more,
The Academicook