I have been avoiding this blog of late: I’m not sure why. Possibly because it has been cold, and I just feel like snuggling up on the couch under a blanket in the evenings and watching my favourite crime series. Possibly because I’ve been slightly busier of late… work, volunteering, our photography course, last weekend away in the Blue Mountains… but it hasn’t been *that* busy. Maybe I’m just in a rut, or am being lazy about getting out the photo lights as the evenings become dark well before I’ve made it anywhere near the kitchen. Whatever it is, I continue to cook dinner at home most nights, but nothing seems to make it onto here.
Writing this post has taken me forever. I made, wrote and photographed the recipe almost three weeks ago. This procrastination reminds me of writing assignments in my university days where I would sit on my computer for hours staring into a blank Word document, listening to my favourite playlist on repeat through headphones and secretly flicking back and forward to a million other tabs in my browser. In the end, my old tactic was to just type, something, anything, until the words eventually came, so with two paragraphs down, here we go…
Oven roasting is a great way of bringing out the sweeter notes in vegetables, particularly with some of the less glamorous vegetables such as cabbage and cauliflower. Roasted red cabbage is my latest addiction. With a bit of heat in the oven, the cabbage crisps up nicely around the edges and becomes incredibly addictive. Cauliflower has also been making the rounds on a lot of menus lately, and for good reason – once roasted it becomes golden brown and has loads more flavour, especially when teamed up with cumin and fennel. It is pretty easy to eat these tasty vegetables straight out of the oven, and admittedly not all of them made it into this warm winter salad. The ones that did however, have been tossed with toasty buckwheat, creamy feta with a sweet-tangy dressing and mint to finish off a complete meal. The recipe below serves 2-3 adults.
By the way, you may have noticed my crossed cutlery over the photo above. I will tell you more about this next week when I (hopefully) have got my writing mojo back, but in short this relates to OzHarvest’s and the UN’s ThinkEatSave campaign which is tackling the reduction of the vast amount of food waste in the world – with the specific aim to reduce Australia’s food waste by 50% by 2025. They would love you to support this cause by giving a personal pledge against food waste – make an “X” from utensils or food items etc (which represents stopping food waste), and post the photo online using the hashtag #thinkeatsave. You know you want to save the world, no one else will…
- 1/2 red cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cauliflower head, florets broken and stalks thickly sliced
- 1/2 large fennel, sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 cup buckwheat groats
- 1/2 bunch mint, leaves picked
- 100 g good quality feta
- A handful of toasted pumpkin seeds (for serving)
- Extra virgin olive oil, for cooking
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cold pressed sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Add the cabbage to a large baking tray, season with a generous sprinkling of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and a couple of glugs of olive oil. In a separate baking tray, add the cauliflower and fennel and season in the same manner with salt, cumin and olive oil. Put trays in oven and roast for 40-45 minutes until cooked through. Check and stir every 15 minutes or so, as the vegetables will darken due to the oven temperature – you want them to be a little charred on the edges, and the cabbage crunchy.
- While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the dressing by crushing the garlic clove with salt using the edge of your knife or a mortar and pestle. Add the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, sesame oil, cumin and chilli flakes and mix well. Season to taste with salt, and add more olive oil or lemon juice, if necessary.
- Prepare the buckwheat groats: toast them in a dry frypan for 5 minutes on medium heat. While they are toasting, bring to boil 1.5 cups of water in a separate medium saucepan. Once the water is boiling and the buckwheat smells nutty and toasty, add it to the saucepan and turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until cooked through. Drain any water, if left in the saucepan and add the buckwheat to a large serving bowl.
- Once the vegetables are ready, add them to the bowl with the buckwheat, mint and feta. Stir through the dressing and top with the toasted pumpkin seeds to serve.