Salad demonstration at Slow Food Earth Markets Maitland's Market Kitchen

HEALTHY FOOD: Slow Food Hunter Valley assistant leader Helen Hughes (left) and the broccoli, cauliflower and kale salad (right).

HEALTHY FOOD: Slow Food Hunter Valley assistant leader Helen Hughes (left) and the broccoli, cauliflower and kale salad (right).

Let’s face it, sometimes knocking up your vegetable ratio at meal time can be a challenge when you’re time poor and not sure how to achieve it quickly.

Luckily for us, Slow Food Hunter Valley has shown us how to achieve this with their broccoli, kale and cauliflower salad. 

And it’s a tasty winner that’ll have your dinner on the table within half an hour – if you’re organised.

This dish uses Israeli couscous, but you can substitute it with whatever variety you enjoy

Helen Hughes, the group’s assistant leader, likes the Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous, because it’s toasted instead of dried.

“A small amount of the Israeli couscous makes a big batch in the end,” she said. 

“It’s almost a little like risotto in that you put just a little bit of oil in the pan, put it in, coat it in the oil and then add boiling water to it. Or you can add boiling stock to it.

“Put a lid on it and simmer for 10 minutes. Then leave it to soak up excess liquid and then you can put a dressing on it, if you like.”

Watch how it’s done 

Now it’s time to deal with the cauliflower and the broccoli.

Heat olive oil in a pan and bake the vegetables until they are slightly charred. 

“You can drizzle it with olive oil and salt, or you can stir fry it with a bit of oil in a pan,” Ms Hughes said.

Then place the chopped kale in a bowl and rub salt into the leaves. Then put it aside to wilt slightly. 

“The kale hasn’t been cooked at all, just chopped up roughly,” Ms Hughes said.

“Sprinkle some salt over it and massage it in. This wilts the kale and makes it much more edible. It adds a little bit of flavour as well.”

Now it’s time for the easy part – plating it all up.

Place the warm cous cous into a bowl, add the cauliflower, broccoli, kale, spring onions and pecans. 

Sprinkle lemon juice over the top and stir to combine.

“It gives you a good mix – you can see the colours work very well,” Ms Hughes said. 

“It always looks nice in a bowl. If you were going to serve it up individually you could add the pecans, spring onions and lemon juice to the top of each bowl.

This dish is a perfect match with a side of slow roasted lamb. 

INGREDIENTS:

Serves 4

250gms of Israeli cous cous

One-and-a-half cups of chicken or vegetable stock, or water

250g cauliflower flowerets

250g broccoli flowerets

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 bunch of kale washed and cut finely

1 bunch of spring onions finely sliced

100 grams pecan nuts, toasted and chopped finely

1 lemon juiced.

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