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
Combine ingredients in a bowl along with 1 cup water and any additional flavourings from the suggestion list. (If using our Jar mix - add 1/2 jar (150ml) water at this step.)
Leave for 15 minutes for the seeds to soak up the water. Give everything a good stir. (It should feel like very thick batter.) If necessary, add a splash more water before stirring again. Then spread the mixture thinly over a lined baking tray The ideal thickness is about 3-4mm. Too thin and the crackers will be too fragile, too thick and they won't be crunchy enough.
Bake for one hour or until golden and crisp. If they don't feel crunchy after an hour, return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then break into shards. Store in an airtight container for up to 8 weeks.
PIMP MY RECIPE
Additional, optional flavourings - pick 1 or pick many:
1 tsp salt or smoked salt
1 tsp Dried rosemary
1 tbl Nutritional yeast
½ tsp Chilli flakes
½ tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Italian herbs
½ tsp Smoked paprika
2 tsp Vegetable stock
2 tsp Falafel mix
CANNELLINI BEAN DIP
2 cups cannellini beans
4 cups water, for soaking
4 cups water, for cooking
1 brown onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest from ½ a lemon
1 teaspoon salt
Few grinds black pepper
1 tsp stock powder of choice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus some to drizzle over finished dip
1 tsp smoked paprika to dust on top
Cover beans with four cups of water and soak the beans for a full 24 hours in fridge. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Place beans, another 4 cups of water, bay leaf and onion in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil covered. Lower to a simmer with lid partially covering the pan and simmer for about an hour or until soft and tender.
Drain but reserve the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaf and onion. Cool the beans and the reserved liquid completely before next step.
Place the cooled beans and ¼ cup of the cooled cooking liquid in a food processor with all remaining ingredients (olive oil, garlic, lemon, stock, salt and pepper). Process until well blended. You may need to add more cooking liquid while blending to reach desired consistency - you're going for a creamy dip. Taste, then adjust seasoning if necessary.
To serve, drizzle some olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika over the top. Serve with seed crackers.
PIMP MY RECIPE
*try adding fresh herbs like parsley or thyme
*change the flavour profile by using different spice blends - z'ataar, dukkah, bay seasoning and Italian herbs are a few ideas.
*add some cayenne pepper, chilli or ground Tasmanian pepperberry for an extra kick.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
Cannellini Dip also makes an excellent, nutrient-rich stand-in for mashed potato or rice. I swear it's true!