Very Veg: Ancient Grain Seven Vegetable Superfood Salad

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The best Mexican food is always made from scratch, slow-cooked with fresh ingredients. From the tried-and-true to modern spin, Latin American food expert Paul Wilson's Taqueria has it all. And if you think Mexican food is little more than enchiladas and nachos, you'll need to dig into this seven vegetable superfood salad. 

Think of this as a type of tabouleh and a healthy salad as a base for anything you like! The farro and quinoa are rich in nutrients and add a lovely nuttiness to the final salad. You can add seasonal vegetables and herbs throughout the year. For summer, think cherry tomatoes, grilled eggplant (aubergine), summer squash, zucchini (courgettes), corn, pumpkin (winter squash), sweet potatoes or basil.

Reprinted with permission from Taqueria

Very Veg: Ancient Grain Seven Vegetable Superfood Salad
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If you think Mexican food is little more than enchiladas and nachos, you'll need to dig into this seven vegetable superfood salad.
Prep Time
Cook Time
  • 1/3 cup farro
  • 1/2 cup mixed quinoa (red, black and white)
  • About 1/2 bunch broccolini
  • About 1/2 bunch kale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup butternut pumpkin (squash)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 5 1/2 ounces salted ricotta
  • Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
  • 3 ounces tinned chickpeas
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 large handful oregano leaves
  • 1 small handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup Latin vinaigrette
  • Edible flower to garnish
  • 1/3 cup sweet sherry or reposado tequila
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 1 large handful oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  1. :::vinaigrette:::
  2. Combine the sherry or tequila, vinegar and spices in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour into a medium bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Continuously whisking, gradually add the oils, one at a time, to the spiced vinegar mixture, until emulsified. Stir in the oregano leaves and season with salt.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  5. :::salad:::
  6. Cook the farro in a saucepan of boiling water for 15–20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse.
  7. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and place in a small saucepan. Add 1 1/4 cups) water and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Cover and cook over low heat for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, with the lid on, for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Fluff the grains with a fork and spread out on a tray to cool.
  8. Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Cook the broccolini and kale for 1–2 minutes, until tender. Drain and refresh in a bowl of iced water to retain their colour. Chop to roughly the same size as the other vegetables.
  9. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pumpkin and cook for 5–7 minutes, until just tender and beginning to colour. Add the corn and peas and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until tender. Set aside to cool. Combine the pepitas and sunflower and chia seeds in a dry medium frying pan and cook over medium–low heat, tossing frequently, for 3–4 minutes, until lightly toasted.
  10. Combine the farro, quinoa, broccolini, kale, pumpkin, corn, peas and toasted seeds in a large bowl. Add the salted ricotta, pomegranate seeds, chickpeas, onion, chopped herbs and jalapeño and stir to combine. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a decorative bowl and serve garnished with the edible flowers.
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