I don’t know about you, but after a month and a half since the lockdown, I’ve basically stopped counting the times I went off the rails… I put the blame on this bloody virus… My coach friend even told me when I proudly posted my home-made gnocchi last week: “Elé, no carbs in the evening!” When it gets like this, I pretend like I just don’t understand… “Oh is that right? What if I add a few spinach shoots, though?”
You understand now, it is urgent I put a little order in my diet and if you are in the same position, I reckon this menu should suit you. To start this beautiful sunny week, I propose a crispy salad made in Australia, discovered while travelling along the Great Ocean Road in Australia. Crunchy, balanced, tasty, it should be a delight. Then, you’ll discover a good dish with exotic flavours, turkey fillet with ginger and pineapple; and to top everything off, a coconut, mango and basil yoghurt inspired by the Chef Juan Arbelaez for dessert. I quote: “Nothing better than the tangy sweetness of coconut and mango yoghurt to end a meal lightly”. Thank you, Juan, I can now sleep without a worry and keep a balanced confinement!
Crispy Salad Made in Australia
For 4 people
Prep time: 20 minutes.
- A cauliflower
- A tin of chickpeas
- 2 red onions
- 4 handfuls of spinach shoots
- 100 g of Farro (seeds of the same family as wheat – explained in the note below)
- Some crackers for the crispiness (I’ll put a recipe for crispy bread rolls on my blog – in the coming weeks)
- Four handfuls of flaked almonds
- 20 fresh dates
- 150 g of goat’s cheese
- Aromatic herbs and seed mix (pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and pine nuts)
- 4 tablespoons of tahini yoghurt
- 1 pomegranate
- Cook the farro in boiling water according to the recommended instructions (cooking time may vary from 15 to 40 minutes) depending on the type of farro. In the meantime, cut the red onions into thin strips and fry them in olive oil in a frying pan. Then cut the cauliflower into pieces and add it to the onions to brown. Once cooked, set aside and leave to cool.
- Prepare the sauce by cutting the pomegranate in half, seed it in a bowl, taking care to keep the juice that is extracted. Set aside a few seeds for the final presentation, then crush the remaining seeds to extract the remaining juice. Discard the crushed seeds.
- In a salad bowl, mix the cauliflower, chickpeas, onions, farro, crackers (set some aside for presentation), spinach, dates cut in half, flaked almonds, diced cheese, then the seed mixture. Season with salt and pepper and add a few herbs to taste.
- Finally, take out 4 bowls, place everything in each bowl, then sprinkle them with the pomegranate juice, a tablespoon of tahini yoghurt on top and the few remaining pomegranate seeds. It’s ready!
Note: Farro is native to Italy, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years. It is one of the oldest crops in Europe. In Roman times, this grain was used to feed the majority of the population. This cereal belongs to the same family as wheat, but it looks more like barley. Farro can be eaten plain, but is often used as an ingredient in dishes such as salads and soups.
I love this recipe, but I love most are recipes who tell a story! I literally melted for this crispy, super healthy salad during my trip along the mythical Great Ocean Road in South Australia last year. I had stopped at this little beachfront restaurant in the town of Torquay, a city that is very well known for its surfing competitions in Australia. When it was time to pay, I spotted the chef and was quite eager to compliment her. Of course, as you can imagine, I couldn’t leave without the recipe. Turns out the chef was also the boss. You’ve most likely guessed that, as the good food lovers we are, our conversation revolved around our love-at-first-sight foods. So welcoming and generous, she kindly offered to bring me in the kitchen to share her recipe. Smiling up from ear to ear, I didn’t miss a word! I wish you could have seen her other salads and desserts, just as exquisite, which I was lucky enough to taste as well since I returned to this restaurant 3 times in 4 days (love is without limits)! I would have slept in front of the restaurant if I could!
All this to tell you how beautiful and full of surprises life is. Great meeting! You just have to take the time to pay attention. Cooking is all about sharing, so enjoy, savour and share with 2 or more people, the most important thing is to have a good time!
I hope you’ll like this recipe. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment, I always answer! The dish and the dessert will arrive in a few days in the next articles! In the meantime, you can find my recipes here and follow my culinary adventures on my Facebook and Instagram pages at @theepicuriousblog.