roast broccoli & freekeh salad

serves 6

It feels like it’s been a wee while ‘between drinks’ as I’ve been running around like a mad woman just lately – but finally I have a new recipe for you! I have been wanting to post a roast broccoli salad for ages now, since Henry and I enjoyed many versions of it while he was here before jetting off to Italy. I found the perfect prompt last week whileย  at Smith & Caughey’s Queen St store poking around the gorgeous homewares department looking for my next collab item to feature. Check out the stunning Rosenthal Junto stoneware plate in the pic above, in a beautiful rich, matt coppery black which seems to change colour depending on the way the light catches it. Obviously in my job I am always on the lookout for prop plates to shoot food on which will bring the recipes to life, but the same is true for serving guests at dinner parties. Sometimes I find coloured plates distracting, but not these. They are both rich and subtle, showcasing the food rather than dominating it – just bloody stunning really, and an easy to way to go from every-night dinner to dinner-party-fancy! To check out the full range pop in here and while you’re about it I would totally recommend the Riedel O wine glasswareย – I use tumblers like this all the time, not just for wine, but for serving Negronis or other cocktails (like gin and tonics garnished with lemon slices, and herbs) in a modern way. They’re also the perfect vessel for a sophisticated moussey dessert if you fill them about a third of the way, then top with beautiful fresh or roasted fruit. The glasses are grape varietal specific in their design, pictured is the Cabernet/Merlot style, so if you are using them for their designed purpose you will be optimising the bouquet and flavour of your favourite drop – excellent!

Meanwhile the roasty broccoli salad is the perfect winter side – with the pleasing texture of nubbly freekeh, earthy cumin-seed-roasted brassicas (you could add in cauliflower here too if you felt inclined), some fresh greens, little surprise pops of sweetness from currants, salty feta and crunchy pumpkin seeds drizzled in an addictive dressing of lemon, Greek yoghurt and tahini. If you come here often you’ll know I love it when food that looks and tastes so good is also good for you – bonus points.

Aaaand in other news – I had my darling nephew Rupert staying last week while my sister and her hubby were sunning themselves in Fiji. Poor old Rue had a chest infection for most of the time so was being fussed over by his aunty in typical fashion (I make him sound like a toddler, but he’s almost 18). Meanwhile Henry had an amazing time with his first wwoof family in Ostunia, less of an amazing time in Palermo with the second hosts, (long story involving tantrum performing children and stressful family dynamics), and is now filling in time (drinking Negronis and lying on the beach which sounds pretty damned perfect to me) before heading to Naples. Poor old Hoob has a lurgy now too, and tells me it is basically snowing in Welly (well on the hills any way) – which of course makes me want to rush down-country, laden with thermoses full of vegetable soup and a suitcase full of hand-knitted jumpers…but actually I have a bit of a lurgy myself! Last Saturday night I had a fab time out at Cottos (in Ponsonby) for dinner with great friends, but since then have succumbed to a rotten energy-sapping cold which has me longing for a hot bath and bed at midday…ah well I suspect some medicinal whisky may be on the cards tonight…

2 small broccoli heads, cut into small ‘steaks’ or florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups salad greens
1 cup coriander leaves
100grams crumbled feta
1 1/2 cups cooked freekeh, quinoa, couscous or brown rice
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
2 large flatbreads
olive oil spray

dressing:
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon runny honey
3 tablespoons currants
1 tablespoon tahini
1/4 cup Greek natural yoghurt

For the salad, preheat the oven to 200หšC and lay the broccoli out in a single layer on an oven tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over cumin seeds, sea salt and black pepper. Roast for 10-12 minutes until just cooked through. Put the flat breads on a separate oven tray, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 5 minutes until golden and crunchy. To serve, layer the salad greens, freekeh, feta and roast broccoli onto a beautiful serving plate. Drizzle with dressing, top with coriander and sprinkle over pumpkin and sesame seeds to serve.

For the salad dressing put the lemon juice, olive oil and honey in a lidded container. Add the currants, shake to combine and leave for half an hour (for currants to plump up a little). Mix in tahini and yoghurt, season with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until serving.

6 comments

  1. Freekeh is a fantastic grain, chewy and earthy and good for you too. Your roast broccoli & freekeh salad sounds like to perfect summer salad to serve at an upcoming holiday lunch we’ll be hosting. I can’t wait to taste the dressing, the flavor sound amazing. Thanks for a great inspiration.

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