A hearty salad: What to eat when the weather can’t make up its mind

I love salad, a hearty salad, mind you. This means my salads often include grains, pulses and seeds, as well as veg (the more colourful the better, I say) which creates a filling and nutrient dense meal. The combination of pulses, grains and proteins, is not only a winner in terms of taste and texture, but it also helps to ensure that your essential amino acids are covered. So combine away, is what I say.

Hearty salads also provide a way to make the most of seasonal vegetables, and in can bridge the seasons nicely when one veg is going out and another is coming into season. As of late, it’s not clear what season we’ve entered, weather-wise. Some days the it feels like spring, and I am itching to cook spring-like food, and other days it seems like we’ve headed back into winter and all I want is something warming and earthy. The other day I made a salad which seemed to reflect this season/climate confusion. Though a bit mixed up, it tasted great.  Take a look at the salad recipe below and feel free to create something similarly hearty–whatever the season.

salad

Freekeh and Roasted Veg Salad with Wild Garlic and Spring Onion Dressing

This salad is another versatile dish that accommodates any vegetable combination, just roast up whatever is in the fridge and toss in some fresh greens. It is a great recipe that can be adapted with whatever veg is in season and whatever nut or seed you fancy. It is also a good recipe for using up leftover roast veg. The freekeh makes the salad more filling and the wild garlic dressing adds a freshness. The salad can be enjoyed warm or cold.

Serves 2-4

3 handfuls of vegetables (i.e. carrots, beetroot, sweet potato, squash–whatever is in season), chopped

1 tbsp coconut oil

A few springs of thyme or rosemary

Sea salt and pepper

100g freekeh

600ml boiling water

2 spring onions, trimmed

Good sized handful of wild garlic leaves

1/2 lemon, juiced

4 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

60g pumpkin or mixed seeds, toasted

2 handfuls of fresh greens (i.e. spinach, rocket or kale)

Additional salt and pepper to taste

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C.
  2. Chop the vegetables and add to a roasting dish along with the just over half of oil (save the rest for greasing the frying pan), herbs, salt and pepper. Roast for the vegetables for 20-25 minutes until they can be pierced easily by a fork.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, put a frying pan over the heat and brush the inside of the pan with a bit of the coconut oil. Place the lemon halves in the frying pan, cut side down and griddle until fragrant and brown. Set aside.
  4. In a saucepan, add the freekeh and boiling water. Bring to a rapid boil, then turn the heat down and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes until it is al dente.
  5. Next make the dressing by adding the olive oil, wild garlic, garlic cloves, spring onion, lemon, a pinch of salt and pepper to a food processer. Whizz together, check the seasoning and pour into a  glass jar.
  6. When the veg are done, transfer them to a large bowl and fold the freekeh through.
  7. Add the toasted seeds and fresh greens then drizzle over the dressing before serving.
  8. Add and additional salt and pepper to taste.

Allergy info: gluten

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