25 September 2009


Avocado, goat cheese, red quinoa salad

Quinoa –  simply delicious, with a little crunch and nutty flavour, makes a nice change from eating rice and cous cous. Add to that chunks of ripe avocado, pieces of creamy goats cheese, some garlicky pesto + toasted pine nuts, and you have a great salad!

I often find myself stuck for inspiration when it comes to lunch and craving something different, but at the same time not having hours to spend in the kitchen. This recipe checks all the boxes. I even made the quinoa the nightbefore, so it was just a matter of quickly chopping up the avo, toasting the nuts and throwing the salad together.

Thank god my avocado was ripe this time, as I have been on streak of bad luck lately, to the point of having to return two to the grocerystore as they were completely uneatable.  I figure at CHF2.50 an avocado, you should have something good to show for it!

And for those vegetarians out there, quinoa is a great hidden secret, a fab grain-like, pseudo cereal, which are actually edible seeds.  It comes in red or white, and is a great source of protein, while being gluten-free and easy to digest. What more could you ask for!

O-Foods-Contest Also I just received a note from Michelle of Bleeding Espresso Blog who is hosting a great food contest for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, called O Foods, so take a look HERE!!!


  • 100 gr red or white quinoa*
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3-4 tablespoons goats cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 5 tablespoons pesto (or more if you like) (PESTO RECIPE)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

*I prefer the red, as it has a more nutty flavour, but is generally more expensive to buy

SP-Avocado SP-red-Quinoa

  1. Cook the quinoa as per box instructions. Leave to cool to room temperature.
  2. Prepare the avocado: put lemon juice in a medium sized bowl. Cut avocado into chunks and toss in lemon juice, set aside.
  3. Toast pine nuts in a non stick pan until lightly golden.
  4. Mix quinoa and olive oil. Add pesto & toasted pine nuts, mix gently – you want clumps of pesto to remain. Gently fold in the avocado, add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve, with pieces of goats cheese on top.


  1. Katya Says:

    I’m such a sucker for goats cheese, anywhere and everywhere: canapé, soups, salads – you name it, I eat it! 🙂 and this looks delicious!
    So many new recipes on your blog, I’m way behind… and need to go back and start experimenting in the kitchen… pumpkin soup is next!

    • Katya,
      this salad is really delicious – I cannot stop eating it! Sometimes it is hard to get accross just how great a dish is with just a photo. I need a scratch & sniff button to help and then there is nothing better than actually making and tasting the salad first hand.
      Let me know how the pumpkin soup turns out and what type of pumpkin your grandmother has in the garden 🙂

  2. Sophie Says:

    What a georgous, healthy & tasty salad this is!!

  3. YUM! You know this would be great for our O Foods Contest for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month if you’d be willing to edit the post to include the contest announcement/textbox 😀


    • Hi Michelle,
      So nice to hear from you, feels like a long time since we were in touch. I am currently enjoying reading through your blog 🙂

      Love to participate in your O Foods Contest and help the cause. The contest announcement/textbox will be going on the blog!
      Best of luck xxx

  4. Jenny Says:

    Great blog! Will be trying many recipes soon!

  5. Your salad is such a great mix of ingredients! I love quinoa and goat cheese, and this sounds delicious.

    • Lisa,
      thanks for the note. At first I didn’t include the goat cheese but the salad seemed to be missing something. It really combines all the tastes together, and the lemon juice stops the avocados from turning brown, while adding a little zest!

  6. This is a healthy and flavourful dish for the O foods event.

    • Bellini,
      hey there, thanks for the comment. I am always on the hunt for nutritious yet delicious food ideas – so keep checking back. In the future, instead of adding crumbled goats cheese, I may cut a slice of goats cheese, warm it in a skillet and then serve the salad with this on top!

  7. Asel Says:

    Thank you very much for a lovely recipe. Went to a nice Peruvian restaurant in Manhattan – discovered quinoa first time – didn’t expect that it goes so deliciously well with goat cheese. Was looking for something similar – your salad looks what I was searching for – hope to test it for a special dinner at my Brooklyn flat. The picture looks lovely!!

    • Hi Asel,
      Quinoa is a wonderful discovery and nice change from rice and couscous.
      Hope the recipe turned out well for your Brooklyn dinner.
      Will be sure to post more recipes with this ingredient in the future.

  8. Christine Says:

    Wow. Two of my favorite things. Avocados and Goat Cheese. Never had quinoa, but will definitely have to try this.

    • Hi Christine,
      Quinoa is fabulous. I prefer the red quinoa over the white, as it has a slight nutty flavour. However the white is sometimes easier to find. I normally buy both types in the health food store 🙂

      • Christine Says:

        Just made this today. I couldn’t find the red quinoa, so used the white. It’s nowhere near as pretty as the red in your picture.

        This salad was so easy to make, and soooooooooo good. One of those meals that’s just so tasty you can’t believe it’s good for you. But it is! Thanks for the recipe.

      • Hi Christine,
        I too prefer the red quinoa, for the look and the taste. Perhaps you can order it online for the future?

  9. Joann Says:

    Just tried quinoa tonight for the first time in a cranberry and pumpkin seed mixture. It was so good! Now I can’t wait to try it with two of my favorite things…avocado and goat cheese!

    • Hi Joann,
      Which type of quinoa did you try the red or the white?

      • Joann Says:

        It was already prepared…but I think it was the white. It was more clear than the quinoa in the picture above. What is the difference between the two?

      • Quinoa are actually seeds of the Chenopodium / Goosefoot plant.
        They range in color from cream, pink, brown to red and black depending on the variety. Three types are mainly cultivated; one producing pale seeds called white quinoa, one a darker red variety = red quinoa, and finally black quinoa.

        I used RED qunioa in the above picture. But white quinoa also works well 🙂

  10. Joann Says:

    Just made this for my dinner! SOOOOO good! Thanks so much for the recipe! BUT…I had no idea how expensive pine nuts are!

    • I hear you, the price of pine nust are a scandal!
      But if you are going to break out the penny bank…. the best ones I have ever bought are in Barcelona at a little shop called E&A Gispert ‘Mestres Torradors 1851′
      Check out my post on BARCELONA – FAVOURITE FOOD PLACES http://bit.ly/aoOuHg

  11. Christine Says:

    I just have to tell you, I’m addicted to this recipe. Really. I’m about to go make it for the 4th time. I crave it. If you ever write a cookbook, you have to put this in it.

    • Joann Says:

      I am addicted too! I have made it several times since first trying it.

    • Hi Christine,
      So pleased to hear that you love the recipe. I just came up with a new pesto made with roquette, pecans and parmesan which I just cannot get enough of and think you would love. Will post the recipe shortly 🙂 Will keep in mind your suggestion for a future cookbook!

      • Joann Says:

        I have to admit…I cheat on the pesto! I live near Wegman’s and they always have fresh pesto on their olive bar so I just buy it instead of making my own. But once you post the recipe for the new one maybe I’ll try it.

      • Oh I wouldn’t worry about that too much, the importance is to enjoy the recipe. If you do have minute though give this pesto recipe
        or the new one I will post shortly a try, it is easy and you cannot beat the taste!

  12. So glad I found this recipe! Can’t wait to try it!
    Thanks…great blog site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: