For many years, come rain or shine, I’ve been making a variety of warm grainy salads.
Big colourful bowls served in our house, our caravan and as picnics. They are also a fabulous way to use up vegetables.
This recipe was concocted to use these wonderful autumn veggies but is so flexible, just use what is available. It looks like a long list of ingredients, but many are seasonings or dressing items, which you can swap for similar.
I have written a vegan version but sometimes I top my warm salads with cubed feta, fried halloumi or an egg.
Portions: 2 generous
Prep and Cook Time: Over an hour
Cookware: A large foil-covered roasting tray and a medium saucepan
Oven: 200C / Gas 6
- 400g butternut squash pieces
- 250g Brussel sprouts – trimmed
- 1 red onion – sliced
- 1 tin chickpeas – well drained
- 2 – 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp ras el hanout
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- salt flakes
- 100g grains (I used bulgar wheat in this version)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 3 garlic cloves – finely sliced or chopped
- 100g cavola nero – leaves cut away from the stalks and roughly chopped (swap for any green leaf or spinach)
- 2 generous tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 generous tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 generous tbsp honey or vegan syrup
- 1/2 lemon – juiced
- chilli flakes, to taste
Into the foil-covered roasting tray, place the squash, sprouts, onion and chickpeas. Drizzle oil over and sprinkle evenly with the spices. Mix well and roast for 30 – 40 minutes, turning once halfway through. (The smell of roasting spices infusing your space, is wonderful).
Meanwhile, make the dressing. I sometimes add a drop of hot water to help mix the ingredients. Then cook your grains, drain, leave in the sieve and put aside.
Once the veggies are roasted, heat 2 tbsp oil in your medium saucepan and slowly sauté the garlic infusing the oil but do not brown. After 2 minutes, add the chopped cavola nero / greens and wilt over a gentle heat. Stir until cooked down then add the grains. Combine well and slowly heat.
All the components are now ready, so time to assemble.
Onto plates or large bowls, spoon the grain mixture, top with the roasted veggies and chickpeas then drizzle over the dressing. Toasted pistachios make a good sprinkle.