A filling, seasonal salad that makes the most of an ancient grain
Wholegrains can transform a plate of seasonal vegetables into a meal, perfect served hot or cold. The kernels soak up any dressing or juices beautifully, have a good bit of chew and are filling too.
Kamut has a wonderfully buttery taste that works well here, but farro or spelt would be just as delicious. I have found ‘quick cook’ (10 mins) Kamut, but most will take anything up to 1 hour to be ready.
For more on ancient wholegrains, read the latest installment of my With the grain series
150g Kamut (or other chosen wholegrain)
200g parsnip, peeled or scrubbed and cut into long halves/quarters, depending on size
2-3 tbsp olive oil
350g purple sprouting, washed and trimmed of any tough longer or thicker stalks
1 red chilli, as hot as you like, cut into slithers
50g blanched almonds
2 oranges, peeled and cut into segments or slices
For the dressing:
3 tbsp tahini
1 orange (zest ½ and then juice the whole orange)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 -2 cloves garlic, crushed
Preferably soak the grain for 2 hours—or better still, overnight (this not only results in a quicker cooking time but also makes the grains more digestible). Drain.
Preheat the oven to 220C. Boil the Kamut in 3 times its volume of water for anything between 30 mins to 1 hour (timings will depend on whether you soaked the grain or not). Drain the Kamut once it is tender, but still has a little bite.
Toss the parsnip in half of the olive oil and roast on a tray in the hot oven. Meanwhile, dry off the sprouting with some paper towel and toss it in the remaining oil with a pinch of salt. After 20 mins, you can turn the parsnip and add the purple sprouting to the tray. Roast for a further 5 mins, before tossing with the chilli and throwing in the almonds. Watch the clock—leave it for just 5 more mins in the oven, or you will burn the nuts.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place the tahini in a small bowl and slowly stir in the orange juice with a fork—don’t worry, the mixture will seize up to begin with. Add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and orange zest and season with salt and pepper. If the dressing seems very thick, stir in a few spoonfuls of warm water.
To serve, if your Kamut has gone cold warm it through in a pan with 2 tbsp dressing. Now tip your grain onto a large serving plate and drizzle over about half of the dressing. Pile on the parsnips, purple sprouting and almonds. Sprinkle over the orange segments and serve with the remaining dressing on the side (tossing your vegetables with the delicious tahini dressing would give it a rather murky, milky look). Serve while hot.
Recipe and image: Jenny Chandler