This gorgeous image is © Janie Pirie 2012. Used with permission
Growing up in the tropics there wasn’t a lot of fresh beetroot around and I’ve enjoyed the abundance of this vegetable during my time in Canada, creating many delicious salads and experimenting with lacto-fermentation (not a huge fan, I prefer fermented carrots) and dishes such as borscht.
This recipe is super simple and can be made ahead of time; in fact I think it tastes better of the flavours have some time to meld before serving.
- 1.5 cups beetroot (about 2 smallish beets)
- 1.5 cups carrot (about 2 medium carrots)
- 1/3 cup red onion (about 1/4 of an onion)
- 1.5 tbsp miso paste
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3-4 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds (optional)
- Grate beetroot and carrot.
- Finely chop the fresh coriander and red onion.
- Mix the vegetables together in your serving bowl.
- In a smaller bowl measure the miso paste and add a couple of tablespoons of the warm water; mix until evenly blended.
- Add the tahini and stir well before adding the rest of the water and stirring until the dressing has an even consistency.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and coriander and mix until well combined.
- Stir the sesame oil through.
- Let the salad sit for at least 20 minutes and sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds before serving.
More commonly known as Lamb’s Quarters, Chenopodium Album, is yet another common weed found at the farm and now that the dandelions are no longer flowering and the nettle is past its most tender stage, I’ve noticed it coming up in abundance.
It can be used as a salad green or in place of spinach if you want it cooked. Young plants are the best to use and it keeps pretty well in the fridge in a plastic bag. I’ve been making bread on a weekly basis so it was logical to create a spread; the recipe below was adapted from Mariquita Farm who based that on a recipe from The Wild Vegan Cookbook and is similar to a pesto.
Lamb’s Quarter Spread
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups lamb’s-quarters leaves
1 small ripe avocado
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1 tsp maple syrup
Dash olive oil
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until well mixed. Eat any way you please – on sandwiches, as a dip, topping for sautéed portobello mushrooms; use your imagination.
Don’t be fooled – dandelions are food!
Dandelions are the most abundant weed at Chelsea Gardens and I’ve recently been munching on the bright yellow flower heads while at work. A friend recently cooked up a tasty dandelion loaf – see recipe below – and although I’d never thought about cooking with it there are plenty of recipes online from dandelion jelly to fritters or frittata so I’ll be doing plenty of experimentation over the next few weeks.
Jodie’s Vegan Dandelion Bread
- 1 cups plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 cup wholemeal (whole wheat) flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups dandelion flowers (just the yellow part)
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp psyllium husk mixed with 6 tbsp water (mix and let sit a couple minutes)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 205’C (400’F)
Grease a loaf pan.
Mix flour, sugar, flowers, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together.
Add water, vegetable oil, psyllium/water mix and vanilla essence and mix until combined; mix should be fairly thick.
Pour into loaf tin and bake for about 30 mins or until cooked through.