Chorizo & Calamari Salad with Quinoa

Ah, spring. Ignoring the nay-sayers, for me, it begins on 1 September. And, how gloriously? After expecting rain - in the true Cape tradition - it could not be a more spectacular Monday. To celebrate, here is a dish that was never meant to be a salad, but tastes even better as one.

It is the second time I have cooked this dish from Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals - the first time, I substituted the calamari for chicken, and served it as part of a dinner party. However, since the Cape Town Vegan Challenge, I can't stomach the thought of chicken - and served it with the suggested calamari. It's delicious. 

My intention was to serve this warm - but as Luke grabbed some straight out the fridge and exclaimed how good it was - it has now been turned into a salad. I have made a few changes to the original recipe - leaving out the olives, and using quinoa instead of couscous - but have kept the main elements. The harissa yoghurt dressing is a revelation - only two ingredients - I think it would also be brilliant at any braai this summer.

This is also the first dish I've photographed with my new Canon EOS 600D - a substantial upgrade from the 1100D I've been using for the past two years.. To say I'm thrilled, would be an understatement. I also picked up a 50mm 1.8 lense (you can get a 1.4 here) and had a little fun photographing. Goodness, I'm excited. I'll share more with you soon, but I am definitely more than a little obsessed. In the meantime, celebrate the sunshine with this quick, summery dish. 

Serves 4
Adapted from Jamie Oliver

4 spring onions
100g baby spinach
bunch of fresh mint
cup of quinoa
zest of a lemon
50g feta or chevin

400g calamari rings
1 large link of chorizo
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
small red pepper, in large chunks
small yellow pepper, in large chunks
2 cloves of garlic

6 tbsp thick Greek yoghurt
1-2 tbsp harissa paste (to taste)

Place the quinoa in a pot with 375ml water. Bring to the boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer, until all the water is absorbed. Once cooked, allow to cool. Slice the spring onions, spinach and mint finely and toss through the quinoa with the lemon zest, once cool. Add the crumbled feta or goat's cheese. Keep refrigerated until needed.

Place the olive oil in a medium sized pan, on a high heat. Add the chorizo and peppers and fry until starting to colour. Add the garlic, honey, balsamic vinegar and calamari, and fry until the calamari is cooked - not even two minutes.

To serve, place the chorizo and calamari on top of the quinoa. Stir together the Greek yoghurt and harissa, and place a dollop on top of the chorizo.

All images taken with a Canon EOS 600D from



Meet the author

Google analytics

On Twitter : @AGorgeousLifeSA

On Instagram : @agorgeouslife