Organic food has traditionally had a reputation for being “good for you” but a bit boring! Organico Café (Bantry, West Cork, Ireland) turns this on its head offering food that is both exciting and delicious. Rachel Dare, who trained with Darina Allen at Ballymaloe, supplies the inspiration behind the menu in Organico Café. Rachel has a distinctive style, fusing a combination of ingredients that are primarily organic and locally grown to create menus that are both lifestyle conscious and tasty. To take full advantage of what’s fresh and in season, the menu changes daily - but it’s always creative and interesting.
The café is surprisingly large, light and spacious, and is located next door to the shop but upstairs. It has a lively buzz at lunchtime, when you can enjoy a salad plate from the extensive salad bar, a summer courgette and rice noodle soup or one of the specials such as Gubbeen and leek frittata. So if you’re looking for an alternative place to have lunch that’s new and exciting or simply want a quite cup of Bantry’s best coffee (or green tea!) just pop up to Organico Café and treat yourself. Go on! You’re worth it!
Rachel's Summer Salad
Throughout the summer we are all looking for lunch ideas that are light, fresh and tasty. We are lucky in our shop to have people from all walks of life bringing us their own lovingly grown fruit and vegetables, so we have the best of local produce to choose from. I am using Quinoa (pronounced kee-no-wah) as the base for this salad, because it can be used as a substitute for couscous as it is wheat-free. Quinoa is often called a 'supergrain' as it is also a very good source of vitamins, minerals and protein, and has a light delicate flavour which appeals to all.
Two cups of quinoa grain, cooked as shown below.
1/3 cucumber (can be replaced with baby courguettes, diced)
10 cherry tomatoes, diced
A handful of finely chopped fresh mint, fresh basil, and fresh parsley
100 g fetta cheese, crumbled
One small red onion or a bunch of scallions, chopped finely
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced (a little lemon juice stops it discolouring)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt and fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon of honey or concentrated apple juice
Rinse the Quinoa grain well under cold water in a sieve, To cook, place two cups cold water to one cup quinoa in a sauce pan and bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the grains are translucent and the sprout has spireled out of the grain (about 15 minutes). While this is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients. When the Quinoa is ready allow to cool slightly, add to the other ingredients and dress to taste. Serve on its own as a light lunch or with chicken or fish as a more substantial meal.
If you want to buy Quinoa grain or the other fresh salad ingredients, we stock them in Organico!
Organico Cafe, Glengarriff Road, Bantry, Co. Cork Ireland. Tel 00 353 (27) 55905.