Hailed as a superfood and inescapable in readymade salads, quinoa has soared in popularity over the past decade. Previously only imported from South American countries, it is (you may be surprised to read) now being grown with great success a little closer to home. Pret has been a major supporter of British quinoa in its soups and salads, and now you’re likely to see packs of British quinoa being stocked in stores including Waitrose, M&S and Booths.

Award-winning online retailer Hodemedod is another great place to start if you’re keen to shop sustainably and locally. It sources everything from British farms, and you can shop for the likes of lentils, chia and spelt, as well as gog magog beans, smoked quinoa, fermented fava beans and more.

Cornish restaurant Fifteen has also been working with local farmer, Megan Lobb, of One Field Farm, using Cornish maize to make polenta for use across the restaurant’s tasting menus.

In the recipe below we’ve used Merchant Gourmet’s dried British quinoa (it also produces ready-cooked pouches of the stuff, too). Popping the grain gives it a wonderfully nutty, toasty flavour and added crunch – give it a go!


  • 200g quinoa
  • 100g purple sprouting broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp plain flour, well seasoned
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 250g halloumi, cut into 6 slices
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • a handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ a small bunch coriander, leaves torn
  • a handful almonds, roughly chopped


  • 1 roasted red pepper from a jar, chopped
  • 1½ tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ a clove garlic, crushed
  • a pinch caster sugar


  • STEP 1

    Put all of the dressing ingredients into a small food processor with some seasoning and whizz until completely smooth.

  • STEP 2

    Cook 100g of the quinoa in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water for 10 minutes, adding the broccoli for the final 3 minutes, then drain really well.

  • STEP 3

    Put the flour, egg and remaining 100g of quinoa into 3 shallow bowls, then toss the slices of halloumi in the flour first, then the egg, then coat really well in the quinoa.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and cook the halloumi pieces, in batches if necessary, for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden.

  • STEP 5

    Tip the cooked quinoa and broccoli into a bowl with ½ the dressing, the tomatoes, red onion and coriander, and mix really well. Divide between 3 plates and top with the crispy halloumi and almonds, and drizzle with the remaining dressing to serve.


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