As soon as spring arrives and our surroundings become greener, so do the ingredients in my meals. I don’t know about you, but in warmer weather I find myself craving much fresher, simpler, healthier foods. Green vegetables are something I really love, I always feel great and full of energy after eating them. So, as we now enjoy the benefits of the spring weather, we also get to enjoy the great food.
In order to celebrate this season, I decided to come up with an ultra green spring inspired salad. I combined two of my favourite grains: brown rice and quinoa, with some of my favourite green vegetables: tenderstem broccoli, asparagus, courgette, spinach and peas. For flavour I decided to get a bit creative.. I began with my favourite classic seasonings: bouillon vegetable stock, garlic, basil and lime. Then, for the twist – I went to town and added two types of Harissa paste!
I’m a big fan of Moroccan cooking, and love using Harissa in my recipes. So, when I was shopping the other day and discovered a green Verbena Harissa, I knew I had to buy it (of course while buying my usual jar of Rose Harissa too). While coming up with this salad recipe, it seemed like the perfect dish to add Harissa to. Loving the rich spiciness of Ruby Harissa, I wanted to add it into the dish as well as adding my newfound green Verbena. Luckily, adding the flavours together really complimented each other, and added a rich and subtle heat to the dish. If you can’t find Verbena Harissa, then I’m sure you can substitute it for some extra Ruby Harissa.
This salad makes a perfect accompaniment for a midweek meal or weekend feast, so I hope you like it!
spring green salad
serves about 6
for the grains:
1/2 cup (90g) brown rice
1/2 cup (90g) tricolore quinoa (you can use plain too)
for the vegetables:
10 spears long asparagus (125g)
10 spears tenderstem broccoli (100g)
1 onion (140g)
1 courgette (zucchini) (165g)
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup (50g) spinach
1/2 cup (60g) peas
2 tsp powdered vegetable stock (I used bouillon)
1 tbsp dried basil
1/4 cup (30g) pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup (35g) sunflower seeds
1 tbsp Verbena Harissa
1 tbsp Rose Harissa
juice of 1 lime – about 2 tbsp
1. Fill a large pan with water and place onto a medium heat. Bring to a boil and add in the quinoa, rice and a pinch of salt. Cook for 20-25 minutes to get your desired texture.
2. Next, add the onion, courgette and garlic cloves into a food processor, and blitz until finely chopped. Then, add them into a large wok/frying pan with the 2 tbsp oil on a medium heat. Fry for about 3-4 minutes, beginning to golden. Be careful not to stir too much as this can cause the courgette to release too much water. Next, chop the broccoli and asparagus into thirds or quarters – depending on their length. Add them into the pan and continue to cook.
3. When there are a few minutes left for the grains to cook, add the spinach, peas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, vegetable stock, basil, verbena harissa and rose harissa in with the vegetables. Stir together. When the grains have cooked, remove them from the heat and drain. Then, when the vegetables have cooked enough for your liking and flavours have developed, remove them from the heat, and add in the grains followed by the lime juice. Stir all of the ingredients together until well mixed, and serve – or move into the fridge to enjoy cold later.