I've been experimenting with mixing grains. I've found the variation in texture and flavour can add dimension to salads that I haven't previously noticed. This one has a three elements: Cooking/drying of grains, roasting of vegetables, caramelizing of onions/celery. Each is packed full of flavour, making the whole thing an absolute party!
100g Chia Seeds
1 Cup of Vegetable Stock
Juice of one Lemon
1 Large Beetroot, peeled and diced into 1cm chunks
1 Large Orange Kumara, peeled and diced into 2cm chunks
2 Waxy Potatoes, diced into 2cm chunks
2 Stalks of Celery, finely sliced
2 Onions, finely sliced
4 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely sliced
Fresh Coriander, stalks minced, leaves set aside for serving
2 Spring Onions, finely sliced
Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Boil a large pot of water and salt it well. Blanch the potatoes for 5 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon to a roasting dish. In the same water, blanch the kumara for 3-4 minutes and drain. Let them cool then toss with the beetroot. Drizzle the whole lot in a few generous lugs of olive olive, then mix them all around. Sprinkle with sea salt then slide into the oven to roast until done. (25-30min)
On the stovetop, get out a couple of pots. Put a little bit of olive oil in each. In one put the buckwheat, in the other put the Chia seeds.
In the one with the buckwheat, turn the heat to medium, until the buckwheat is lightly sizzling. Add the vegetable stock, then top up with 2 cups of water. Cook on a medium heat until the buckwheat is tender. If you need more water, just add enough to keep the buckwheat covered. Once it's tender, add another lug of olive oil, lower the heat and then cook until the liquid is mostly gone. Spread out on a large chopping board. This will let them dry out a bit so the salad isn't too gluggy.
In the other pot, gently boil the chia seeds with the lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a cup of water until they've absorbed the water. It should be a thickish, clear paste dotted with the seeds.
In a frying pan, add a little olive oil and sautee the celery, onions, coriander stalks and garlic on a medium heat until soft. Add the sumac, oregano and paprika, and continue to fry until the ingredients begin to brown. Take off the heat.
Check on the vegetables - the potatoes should be a bit crispy and cooked through, the kumara should be brown, a little crispy and tender in the middle and the beetroot should be dark and cooked through. If so, you're ready to assemble. If not, cook a little while longer.
Scrape the buckwheat into the mixed vegetables, mix it through. Put it back in the oven and turn the heat to 230, and blast roast for five minutes. Take it out of the oven once done.
Next, add the caramelized onion/celery, mix it through, then finally the linseeds, chia seeds and spring onions.
Garnish with coriander leaves on each plate. Salt and pepper to taste: and by this I mean really well - this might need a bit of salt - the buckwheat mellows everything quite a bit.
Squeeze a bit more lemon juice on top if you want more tang.