From Hetty McKinnon's Provençal Grain Salad & Ottolenghi's Farro Salad to the ever popular Cypriot salad, we Sydney folk sure love robust, earthy and vibrant dishes. Our Village Feast Salad is our take on this popular dish. What I love about it is that it's a meal in itself - no need to make anything to go with it! And it can easily be adapted to feed a crowd.
With the holiday season upon us, this is just the kind of salad to have up your sleeve. Featuring many pantry staples we all often have on hand, it makes for excellent leftovers and leaves wiggle room for creativity and putting your own spin on it. We encourage you to tweak it to make it yours.
Feeds 4 as a Main or 8 as a Side dish.
½ cup Cracked Freekeh
½ cup Puy Lentils
½ cup Buckwheat (*toasted if preferred. See note)
1 tsp Vegetable Stock Powder
1 head Broccoli (cut into small florets)
1 Red Onion
½ bunch Mint
½ bunch Parsley
½ bunch Coriander (optional)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
Pinch of crushed Pepperberries
⅓ cup Pepitas
Juice and zest of 1 Orange
⅔ cup Greek Yoghurt
⅔ cup Hulled Tahini
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Honey
⅓ cup Cranberries
1 tbsp toasted Pepitas
To make things easier we're going to use 1 pot to cook 4 things. The ones with the longest cooking time of 20 mins - cracked freekeh and puy lentils, go into the pot first, followed by buckwheat then finally broccoli. Here goes:
Put a big pot of water on to boil. Add the tsp stock powder.
When boiling, add freekeh & puy lentils. Simmer gently uncovered. 10 mins later add buckwheat. Keep simmering the 3 together for a further 9 mins. Lastly, throw in the broccoli florets for a quick 1 min blanch.
Now retrieve the broccoli from the simmering water with a slotted spoon or tongs and pop it in some cold water. This arrests the cooking process and ensures it keeps its bright green hue and a bit of crunch.
Drain the buckwheat, lentils and freekeh well and leave to cool in the colander while you make the dressing. It doesn't have to get completely cold; warm is fine.
While the grains and pulses are simmering, chop up your onion (finely) & herbs (coarsely) & put it in a large mixing bowl with a glug of olive oil & pinch or two of salt.
Note: you may like to reserve a handful of chopped herbs for garnish at the end.
Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a bowl, season to taste.
in a dry frypan, toast pepitas over a medium-low heat for 2 mins or til almost golden. Remove from the pan immediately and reserve.
Toss cooked grains and pulses, chopped onion and herbs in a bowl.
To serve, spoon onto a large serving platter or individual bowls, top with the dressing, cranberries, pepitas and herbs. Or you can serve the dressing on the side.
This recipe can be made ahead. Don't dress or add olive oil til serving time.
PIMP MY RECIPE
This recipe focuses on taking a fresh look at ingredients, and using them in different ways.
This gorgeous dessert is the perfect example. Originally I used dried apricots for this dish, but any dried fruit you have on hand works beautifully.
Next time you feel like something sweet after dinner but don't think you have anything that will suffice, try the pantry: there's nearly always dried fruit of some kind in there!
2 cups dried fruit of your choosing*
⅔ cup warm water
2 tablespoons butter
Few drops vanilla essence
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup walnut pieces or raw pistachios
Greek Yoghurt to serve
Add vanilla to warm water. Soak fruit in water for 10 mins. Now pour the fruit and water onto a greased oven tray. Dot the butter over the fruit, sprinkle the walnuts and sugar over the top. Bake for 25 mins at 180°c.
Serve with Greek yoghurt
*the fruit pictured is a mix of sour cherries, peaches, pears and currants.