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Quinoa Salad With Goat’s Cheese, Basil, and Crispy Prosciutto

Enjoy this rich and tasty quinoa salad any day of the week

This is a rich, indulgent salad, full of big flavours. You can replace the goat’s cheese with feta or a more mildly flavoured bocconcini (fresh baby mozzarella) if you prefer. — Katy Holder, author of A Moveable Feast



  • 3/4 Cups quinoa
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons small capers, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 3 1/2 Ounces prosciutto
  • Handful basil leaves, larger leaves roughly torn
  • 1/2 bunch watercress, leaves picked
  • 5 1/2 Ounces goat’s cheese, broken into small pieces


Bring 1 1/2 cups water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa, cover, and return to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and place a clean tea towel (dish towel) over the saucepan, putting the lid on top of the tea towel; this helps any remaining moisture to be absorbed. Leave for 10 minutes.

Put the quinoa in a lidded bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the oil along with the vinegar and capers. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to combine, then set aside to cool to room temperature.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto and fry for 2-3 minutes, until crispy. Remove the prosciutto from the pan, keeping the oil in the pan; cool for a couple of minutes, then chop into bite-sized pieces. Pour any oil from the pan over the quinoa mixture.

Add the prosciutto and basil to the quinoa and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle the watercress and cheese over the top. Put the lid on to transport.

Toss the watercress and cheese through the salad just before serving.

Recipes excerpted with permission from A Moveable Feast by Katy Holder (Hardie Grant, 2017)