Warm winter mixed grain salad

We know plant foods should play a staring role in our every day diet yet eating cold raw food can seem really unappealing especially in the winter when we gravitate more towards warm comforting foods.

This warm salad combines lots of veggies, some cooked some raw and protein rich grains to make it a completely nourishing satisfying meal. Get creative and try different grains and feel free to use any veggies you have. I often have a bit undressed raw slaw in the fridge left over from the day before that I throw in to the salad before adding the roast veggies. Experiment with the spices, add dried chilli for extra heat.

Warm winter mixed grain salad

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 2 peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp Moroccan spice blend such as a Berber or Baharat blend
  • 1 tin cooked chickpeas in water* 250 g cooked mixed grains, quinoa, brown rice, spelt etc. (Merchant Gourmet do great pre-mixed packets of different grains)
  • A couple of good handfuls of salad leaves, watercress, lamb’s lettuce, rocket etc
  • 50g pumpkin seeds toasted in a dry pan on the hob until lightly coloured and nutty
  • 50g pomegranate seeds
  • Good handful chopped coriander and mint

Lemony dressing

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 garlic olive finely chopped or grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 190 C

Chop the aubergine, peppers and onion into similar bite sized chunks, keep the garlic gloves whole and in their papers, toss with the olive oil, the spice mix and a little salt and pepper in a baking tray and roast until the veggies are cooked through and browning a little with the edges beginning to catch and crisp for about 20 minutes. Towards the end of cooking time remove the tin from the oven and mix through the strained chickpeas. Return to the oven to cook for a couple of minutes.

Remove the veggies from the oven and allow to cool slightly whilst you prepare the rest of the salad. In a large bowl dress the salad leaves with the lemony dressing.
Mix the veggies through the leaves, either squeezing the sweet roasted garlic cloves out of their papers or leaving whole for extra texture. Finally sprinkle over the herbs, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds before serving. Enjoy!

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