A seasonal salad from Tom Hunt: the latest in a new recipe series themed around whole foods
In this new recipe series, I’m determined to banish once and for all the notion that whole foods are heavy, unpalatable and just for health nuts. I’ve created these recipes to be flavour-packed, vibrant and light. My hope is to inspire you to cook from root to fruit, eating whole foods from the whole farm and indulging in seasonal foods that are tasty, nutritious and inherently restorative for ourselves and the planet.
I believe that diversity in our diets is good not just for our health, but the health of our planet. Through varying what we eat and exploring delicious, local, seasonal fruit and vegetables, wild foods and ethically produced world products, we are supporting a wide biodiversity of domestic plants and local economies.
A lot of people suffer from an intolerance to gluten and can’t always digest it well. I digest gluten fine, but still like to eat alternatives for their flavour and different textures. Buckwheat is a delicious alternative to standard grains like wheat or corn. A grain is a seed, usually from a species of grass; buckwheat is the seed of a broadleaf plant which like quinoa, is gluten free.
Buckwheat is delicious mixed into salads with fresh vegetables or made into a flour to make pancakes. In this recipe, the buckwheat is toasted which makes it crunchy and gives it a delicious nutty flavour. Usually tomatoes are used to make tabbouleh. English tomatoes—grown without heated greenhouses—are not quite in season, so I’ve switched them for cherries which make for an interesting and delicious alternative; sour, sweet and juicy red.
100g roasted buckwheat
200g cherries, stones removed, quartered
2 spring onions, topped to tailed, finely sliced
4 radishes, thoroughly washed, roots and leaves finely sliced
50g (about ¼) cucumber, diced medium to small
40g parsley, stalks finely, leaves very roughly, chopped
1 tbsp date or maple syrup
¼ lemon, juice and zest
Pour the buckwheat into a bowl and cover with a generous amount of water. Soak for 5-10 mins, then drain. Place in a dry frying pan on a medium heat and toast for about 5 mins, or until the kernels become crunchy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Mix all of the ingredients together, season with salt and pepper and serve.
The sourness of the cherries works well alongside chargrilled seasonal vegetables and a rich hummus. However, this dish will also work well alongside any number of salads to make a summery feast.
Recipe: Tom Hunt