Roasted Broccoli and Beetroot Quinoa Salad with Lemon, Maple and Mustard Seed Dressing
Its already getting late and we are weary from work, and play and passions and life in all its fullness. Stefan has just brought me a tray of choc-peppermint chai, complete with a little swiss milk jug and a spoonful of honey. I can hear him picking dried Lemon Myrtle leaves from a bush that has been hanging in our kitchen for weeks. Bhumi went to sleep (before dark!!!) after hours of swimming in the river-mouth this morning. I know she’ll be leaving sand from between her toes and from between her dreadlocks between the sheets for us to snuggle into later tonight, but it doesn’t matter. It reminds me of summer and that is always wonderful. We have been so busy that my thoughts have been on letting this blog go for a little while. But somehow…I’ve found a moment, and I have something to share.
“I really big getting mama” said Bhumi as I watched her little hand juicing a lemonade fruit. The juice started seeping from its centre, spilling into the catcher below. I realised then that it was almost this time last year that I made one of my first posts here.
“Yes, baby…your getting so big.” I sighed heavily, but contently, at the passing of time with a knowing in my heart that (as much as I would sometimes like to try) only God Himself is the subduer of time.
Dizzy with business I planted a patch of brassicas (including broccoli) in the vegetable garden earlier in the year. Almost unnoticed they have blossomed and bared their beautiful flowers. With great pleasure, we harvested them this afternoon.
Organic Broccoli is always, for me, the cream of the crop. Mostly because, unless its organic, I almost never buy it. Hiding within the florets of non-organic broccoli is, sadly, high concentrates of pesticides and herbicides and of all the vegetables to prioritise on buying organic, broccoli is one of the highest for me. Hiding within the florets of organic broccoli is often many juicy green caterpillars that can sometimes only be found with fastidious and careful eyes…especially if you’re serving to guests. There was one unforgettable meal I served to the inhabitants of the dread-shed one afternoon. After proudly exclaiming how all of our food was organic and/or homegrown I lifted the lid on a steaming pot of broccoli, only to see not one or two, but five large, inflated steamed caterpillar’s arranged brilliantly on top, almost like a strangely intentional garnish. Ooops, sorry caterpillars. And sorry to the (surprisingly rather conservative) dreadlock customers who had a little trouble swallowing their lunch that day.
But regardless of the time it may take to check for caterpillars (might I say I didn’t find even one in this years harvest!) these brilliant green bouquets are hiding brilliant levels of vitamin C, as well as being a great source of chlorophyl, iron, roughage and gentle winter sun-light-force.
For the salad…
- 1 cup of white quinoa
- 2 cups water
- A large bunch of mixed greens (I used chard, mustard greens, lettuce, kale and broccoli leaves), roughly chopped
- A handful of fresh mint leaves
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- A small bunch of Italian parsley, roughly chopped
- 3 small florets of broccoli, sliced
- 2 large beetroot, sliced
- 1 large red onion, sliced
- 2 handfuls of pumpkin seeds
- A dash of olive oil
- A sprinkling of rapadura sugar
- A sprinkling of balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- The juice of one large lemon
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp flax seed oil
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 level Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
- Salt and pepper
This salad is a sensation. I have made it many times before with all varieties of roasted vegetables and nuts. Some of our favourites are walnuts or chopped Brazil nuts fried or roasted in a little coconut oil and its lovely with a little fresh goats cheese crumbled on top. Light but satisfying, this recipe comfortably feeds four (or two and a half if you eat as much as Stefan, Bhumi and I).