A Winter Salad

Monday, February 15, 2016

I've been craving salads. Not much grows here in the winter months so the majority of fresh produce comes from our southern neighbours. These are picked green, spoils easily and are devoid of taste. We had a similar problem in the Middle East where produce was imported due to the limitations of a hot climate. A vast majority of fruit and vegetables came from our Arab neighbours. Maybe they got a wee bit more sun before picked, packed and shipped because they did taste like something. What you can find plentiful here are root vegetables. So hello beetroot hummus and carrots, who doesn't enjoy carrots. It's these two ingredients that form the base of this salad, I've added some chickpeas to make it more substantial and a whole bunch of greens, rocket, kale and parsley. Quick pickled red onions provide a touch of sweetness to round off the grainy mustard dressing.

I've been busy making inroads in learning the Swedish language. This has taken up most of my time leaving little time for blogging. That said I'm currently working on achieving some sort of balance so that neither pursuit suffers, forgive me for the absence of frequent posts. I have been baking furiously, bread not cake, in a crazy attempt to carve out some personal time. Spelt loaves, sweet buns and even fried bread. The latter not particularly healthy I know but all things in moderation. I recently stumbled across a cookbook written by a Swedish baker that swapped her bread with homemade items from friends. What a cool initiative for these modern times, so I'm going to throw it out there if anyone is keen on a crusty loaf of spelt bread in exchange for pickles, sauces or anything of a homemade nature. I am more than up for it!!

A Winter Salad
Any sort of beets will work in the recipe. And feel free to use canned chickpeas.

4-5 small yellow beets
Olive oil
1 small red onion
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 carrot
1/4 bunch tuscan kale
generous handful of wild rocket
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 c chickpeas, cooked
coarse sea salt

60ml olive oil
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 garlic, crushed
1 tsp chopped capers
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius/390 fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Peel the beetroot and slice into thin wedges. Drizzle some olive oil on the beets and roast for about 30 minutes, you don't want them completely soft. Slice the onion and and place in a bowl with one tablespoon of the red wine vinegar, leave to marinate for 15 minutes. Thinly slice the carrot and set aside. Wash and remove the ribs from the kale. Roughly chop and sauté in a small frying pan with a bit of olive oil.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to a thick emulsion. Assemble the salad ingredients, except coarse sea salt, in a serving bowl and coat with the dressing. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and enjoy!

Serves 2.