I may be back in England, but the fruits of France continue, or should I say the seeds? One of the things I learned from Rachel Demuth last week at Chateau Ventenac is that toasted seeds can turn just about any vegetable, grain, lentil or bean into a delicious salad with complex flavour and irresistible crunch.
Two such salads are pictured above: one made with grated courgettes and carrots, the other with quinoa, both with heaps of fresh herbs and toasted seeds (read on for the recipes). But I think you could take just about any mix of veggies, grains, beans or lentils and make them interesting just by adding a few toasted sesame, sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
I tried this myself last night with spring onion, green pepper, cucumber, carrot, tomato, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped oregano, parsley and wild garlic, and a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and grainy mustard. I was pretty pleased!
In case you’re wondering, that charred lump next to the salad is a black bean and pumpkin enchilada with mole sauce. It was tastier than it looks, I swear!
Speaking of tasty, here are those recipes I promised. Enjoy! And don’t forget, I’m giving away a copy of Rachel Demuth’s Green Seasons Cookbook this week. Visit this post and leave a comment to enter a chance to win.
Herby Quinoa Tabouleh
Courtesy of Rachel Demuth and her cooking course at Chateau Ventenac. Recipe note from Rachel: “Quinoa, pronounced ‘keenwa’ is a tiny golden Amaranth seed from South America. It has a higher protein content than rice and is gluten-free. It cooks to beautiful fluffy spheres that keep their texture.”
1 tbsp olive oil
500ml vegetable stock
1 lemon, zest and juice
pinch of salt
30g cashews, roasted
30g walnuts, roasted
20g pumpkin seeds, roasted
20g sunflower seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp paprika
4 tbsps fresh flat parsley, roughly chopped
4 tbsp fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- Rinse the quinoa thoroughly until the water runs clear. Cook the quinoa in the stock, lemon juice and zest plus a pinch of salt. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed, turn off the heat, leaving the lid on, leave to sit for 10 minutes until the quinoa grain has burst. Then fluff up the quinoa with a fork.
- Roast the cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds for 8-10 minutes until golden. Add the sesame seeds for the final few minutes of roasting.
- Mix the seeds and nuts with the quinoa, cayenne, paprika, mint and parsley.
- Check for seasoning, add salt, pepper, and more lemon if needed.
Grated Courgette Salad
1 large carrots (125g), peeled and grated
3 large courgettes (350g), grated
handful of fresh flat parsley or coriander, chopped
4 tbsps sunflower seeds, toasted
3 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Make the dressing by mixing the olive oil with the lemon juice and mustard.
- Toss the dressing with the remaining ingredients.
- Season to taste.