Coconut-Curry Quinoa Salad with Sweet Pea Purée

Bobo Bergström

The Edge, St. Lucia, West Indies

Bobo Bergström served this light-tasting grain salad stuffed into roasted miniature aji dulce chile peppers at the Beard House last April, but it tastes great on its own as well. Toasted curry spices, shredded coconut, and lime juice lend depth to the nutty quinoa, and the sweet pea purée is a delicious complement. If fresh coconut isn’t available, substitute unsweetened, shredded dried coconut.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed in cold water
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cucumber
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped aji dulce or sweet, mild pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sweet Pea Purée:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons chopped scallion
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


To make the salad, heat the canola oil and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and toast the curry powder. Stir in the quinoa and add 2 cups of water and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on low heat until all of the water has been absorbed by the quinoa. Spread the quinoa out on a baking sheet and cool to room temperature.

While the quinoa is cooling, sauté the chopped vegetables in the remaining tablespoon of the olive oil until just tender, about 5 minutes. Allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature.

Combine the quinoa and sautéed vegetables. Stir in the coconut and lime juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the sweet pea purée, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the scallions and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the white wine, heavy cream, and water. Reduce the liquid by half and stir in the peas. Bring the mixture to a boil; remove from heat, and purée in a food processor or blender. Return the purée to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the quinoa salad.


6 servings