I feel a bit like a broken record, but here we are again – summertime and all this girl wants to talk about is salad. So I’m kind of hoping you’re as jazzed as me when it comes to my favourite bowl food.
We often turn to epic non-recipe salads for our suppers come these warmer months. Beyond having the added advantage of being crisp, cooling, and jammed packed with veggies, they can be prepared early in the morning and, if left undressed, last in the fridge for the next day’s lunch (mealtime dilemma solved). One of the reasons I love them so much is because they can easily be prepped ahead of time. Half an hour of roasting veg or cooking beans/grains in the cool morning air, will leave you with an easy to put together meal come the warmest hours of the day.
Our repertoire usually revolves around what’s growing in the garden (kale for days), plus some herbs, summer produce, and grains for substance. These type of salads exactly what we want this time of year, but like anything else on a run, we can fall short on creativity at times. Luckily for me, my friend and salad aficionado,Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen just released her second book, Neighbourhood, which is nothing short of a salad bible.
Neighbourhood covers a spectrum of vegetarian plant based salads inspired from Hetty’s travels from Sydney to Brooklyn and everywhere in between. Broken up into six main categories, the book delves into American influenced salads with ingredients like BBQ corn and collard greens; French classics with tapenade and niçoise elements; Mediterranean plates spiced with za’atar; Asian inspired bowls of seedy soba and pho; trendy Middle Eastern tahini and sumac, and the essential (and ever so cool) Australian inspired salads like this broccoli and millet concoction.
I was instantly drawn to the Aussie section because for whatever reason I am enamoured with anything Aussie food related. Hip and stylish, I feel like Aussie food (and food photography for that matter) is at the forefront of the food scene, and Hetty’s food embodies that coolness. Her salads are bursting with her warm personality, charm, and the vibrancy of Australian food culture. Fresh and veggie forward (with the odd egg or cheese which is easily replaced) her salads are full of new flavours, exciting spices, and worldly whole grains.
Choosing this basil and broccoli salad was kind of a no-brainer for me. Basically, broccoli always rules at our house. The addition of a pesto-like dressing adds that summer feel that takes me back to being a kid, plus it utilizes millet which is so often forgotten about in the blogging world. While this salad is supposed to feed 4-6, Adam and I found that it served more like 6-8, so if you’re single or not a big eater, try halving it as necessary. The original recipe called for adding 2 oz shaved parmesan which would add a nice salty touch, so feel free to add that if it’s part of your diet. To boost this salad to the realm of ‘main course’, I think it would pair perfectly with a poached or soft boiled egg (again, if that’s your thing) or some sliced avocado, because who doesn’t like that.
Recipe From Neighbourhood by Hetty McKinnon. Copyright © 2017.
Reprinted by permission by Roost Books
BASIL-LEMON SCENTED MILLET WITH ROASTED BROCCOLI
Serves 4-6. Print Recipe Here
2 Broccoli Heads (1 Kg), cut into florets
2-3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Cups Veggie Stock, plus extra if needed
2 Cups Raw Millet (couscous, pearl barley, or quinoa can also be used)
1 Cup Baby Arugula Leaves
½ Cup Torn Basil Leaves
3 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp. Toasted Sunflower Seeds
Sea Salt + Black Pepper
1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
1 Cup Basil leaves, torn
¾ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Grape Seed or neutral tasting oil (avocado or even more olive oil)
Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Heat the oven to 200 C (400 F) and toss the broccoli with 1-2 tablespoon of the oil, and a little salt and pepper. Spread on a baking tray and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.
- Next, make the basil oil. Add the garlic, basil, one Tbsp. water in a blender and puree until a paste is made. Add the oil and zest and puree again. Slowly add the lemon juice until you get a tangy you’re happy with (I used the entire lemon). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.
- To make the millet, bring the veggie stock to the boil. Add the millet and cover, letting simmer on low heat until the stock is absorbed and the millet is tender (about 25 minutes, but some millet may take longer or need an extra bit of water – here is a millet cooking DIY ). Once cooked, let the millet sit for ten minutes to cool and fluff up. After the millet has rested, toss the grains with the basil oil and mix well.
- To serve combine the roasted broccoli with the millet, arugula, herbs, salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and garnish with sunflower seeds.