Thursday, May 5, 2016

Autumn harvest salad with crunchy freekeh, roasted cauliflower, persimmons and pine nuts

Were in the last month of autumn – winter is, indeed, coming – and I wanted to make the most of this seasons spectacular harvest. Many people tend to associate autumn with soup, butternut, brown foods In fact autumns ingredients are some of my favourites: avocados (filled with good fats), sweet, crunchy pears (high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties), persimmons (packed with Vitamins A and E – great for skin and eye health) and pomegranates (rich in vitamin C – great for fighting off those change-of-season germs).

This hearty vegan salad is packed with nutrients, crunch and flavour. Although this recipe makes enough for two, you might not want to share! Even my husband didnt miss the meat! Perfect for Meat-free Mondays!


½ head of cauliflower, sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Smoked Paprika
½ cup wholegrain freekeh, cooked according to package instructions
3 persimmons, finely sliced into rings
2 pears Bosc pears, finely sliced
2 large avocados, roughly chopped
Arils of ½ pomegranate
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Zest of ½ naartjie
Mint, for garnishing

For the dressing
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of half a naartjie
Himalayan salt
Freshly ground black pepper


1.     Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place sliced cauliflower in a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and shake to coat. Sprinkle half the cauliflower with turmeric and half with smoked paprika. Bake until coked through, turning cauliflower slices half way. Gently set aside on a paper towel.
2.     Place cooked freekeh into a griddle pan with a touch of olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until freekeh starts popping and gets crunchy. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
3.     Combine the persimmon, pear and avo slices on a platter. Layer on the cauliflower. Sprinkle the freekeh, pomegranate arils and pine nuts over the top with the zest.
4.     Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and season to taste. Add a little more vinegar or olive oil, to balance acidity. Drizzle over the salad. Garnish with mint and serve.

So excited that you can finally get FREEKEH in #SouthAfrica thanks to The Really Interesting Food Company.