After having created a pretty colourful recipe for a quinoa salad for a client, I got inspired and thought about a similar recipe which I could share with you on the blog. Obviously I wanted a new range of colours and immediately decided on pink (pomegranate-pinkish pink) from the very beginning. Figuring that green would go well with pink, I then decided to add broccoli to the salad, tender-stem broccoli to be precise, whose tenderness I like even more, alongside peas.
It might sound funny, but this actually is my way of approaching new recipes and ideas for meals: I imagine the finished picture in the end, whether the colours match, the structure and shape of ingredients go well with each other, and whether I can play around with the perfected meal, such as sprinkling nuts or sprouts or spices over the dish.
Indeed it might sometimes take me a while to find everything I want to include in my picture. For this post, for instance, I had to travel as far as Borough Market to get candy cane beets (look at their beautiful pattern!) and pinkish China rose sprouts to finish the dish with.
Obviously you can make the salad without having all those fancy ingredients, too. Normal beet roots and any sprouts are just as good and tasty, and please note that you can be as creative with this recipe as you wish to be! To me, food, and the making of it, should be fun, so if you feel like swapping the peas for an avocado, or wish to leave out the radishes, go for it! It’s you who will eat the salad in the end, so you might as well make sure it’s the best it can turn out for you personally.
By the way, Green Kitchen Stories have posted a slightly similar salad recipe on their blog the other day. In fact, that’s where I heard about candy cane beets first. What an amazing product Mother Earth has created for us there!
Enjoy your salad!
Red and green grainy salad with a pea, mint and avocado mash
For two (huge) to four (small) servings.
For the pea mash:
Two handful of peas
1/4 of an avocado
Approx. 4 sprigs of mint, leaves only
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
For the grainy salad:
60 g mixed grains or pseudo grains (I used 20 g black quinoa, 20 g freekeh and 20 g faro (spelt)
1 medium-sized candy cane beet or „normal“ beetroot
8 small sprigs of tender-stem broccoli (or normal broccoli)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
6 breakfast radishes (or radishes)
1/2 of a small pomegranate
1 handful of edamame beans and/or peas
100 g feta cheese (leave out for a vegan meal)
4 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
China rose and/or alfalfa sprouts to sprinkle
For the pea, avocado and mint mash, boil the peas in a bit of lightly salted water for about three minutes. Add peas, avocado, mint, olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of salt and pepper to a bowl. Using a hand-held blender, blend the ingredients until creamy.
For the grainy salad, bring to a boil the required amount of lightly salted water for your grains in a small pot (for instance, if using 60 g quinoa, you will need approximately 120 ml water to start with and potentially add more during cooking). Rinse your grains, add them to the pot and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes until the water has been absorbed.
In the meantime, peel your candy cane beet and cut it in slices. In a second pot bring to a boil some water, add the candy cane beet and allow to cook until done, for about 20 minutes.
Wash the broccoli, remove any leaves and thick ends. Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat, sauté broccoli from all sides for 3 – 5 minutes. Add a dash of water or vegetable broth to the pan to allow the broccoli to braise for a couple of minutes.
Wash and thinly slice the radishes.
Remove the pomegranate seeds from the fruit.
In a large bowl mix grains with radishes, pomegranate seeds, edamame beans or peas, add olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix the salad well. Arrange salad on plates, add sliced cane cane beet and broccoli, sprinkle with feta cheese and sprouts, serve with pea and mint mash. Enjoy!