When I was making myself this vibrant bowl of spring goodness a few days ago for lunch it occurred to me that it's become a bit of a thing for me to share a spring bowl at this time of the year! And when I looked back over the past few years I realised that I even gravitate towards eating out of the same chipped blue ceramic bowl! (Three years ago, two years ago). I'm definitely a creature of habit it seems and as the earth and I wake from our sleepy rain-filled winter of hibernation I find myself craving freshness and big flavours. As I pulled this together from things I had in my fridge and garden I realised it was going to make for one vibrant dish, in more ways than one 🙂 I'm not usually one for bright loud colours, but the vivid colour of the beetroot yoghurt and purple kūmara against that fluro homegrown romanesco made my heart sing!
I'm long overdue for a good old vegetable garden update and things are looking so lovely at this time of the year I thought I'd give you a quick photographic tour of our garden. We've just picked the last of our romanesco (hybrid broccoli seen in the photo above if you've not come across them before). It was the first time I've grown them and I'll definitely be doing it again. They are delicious! Slightly firmer in texture than your regular broccoli and oh so photogenic. My kale is shooting to seed in this on-again off-again rain, but that's ok. We're still eating it by the handful every night. We've just started eating our leeks, even though they haven't fattened up much this year. Our garlic and red onions are looking good. We've been picking celery, silverbeet and coriander for months. Our red cabbages are growing larger everyday and about 3/4 of the peas I planted a fortnight ago (way late I know!) have popped up. I've got about 100 tomato seedlings to prick out and plant up (again, way late!), I don't think we'll have room for them all (lol) so I'm sure I'll be supplying every member of my family with seedlings this year. Hows your garden growing?
Here in New Zealand the deliciously sweet root vegetable we call kūmara, is more commonly known throughout the world as sweet potato. I've used a newly released purple variety here, but any kind will do. Cooked lentils could easily replace the sprouted ones, if you prefer.
2 medium beetroots, cooked, peeled and grated*
1 cup plain Greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely crushed
Fine sea salt, to taste
Herbed lentil salad
1 cup sprouted lentils
A generous handful each of coriander, mint and flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium kūmara (sweet potato) of any kind, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 head romanesco broccoli (or use regular broccoli or cauliflower if not available), cut into florets
Combine ingredients for the beetroot yoghurt in a bowl and refrigerate until needed.
Preheat oven to 200C (400F), drizzle a little olive oil over the kūmara pieces, season with salt and pepper and roast, turning often for 20-30 minutes, or until tender and golden. Remove from the oven and set aside until needed.
Combine all the ingredients for the herbed lentil salad in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and saute romanesco florets until just tender, season with salt and pepper.
To serve, spread a generous dollop of beetroot yoghurt on the bottom of 4 shallow bowls, top with a handful of roasted kūmara, some romanesco and herbed lentil salad. Enjoy x
*To cook beetroot, place unpeeled/un-trimmed beets in a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 20-40 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat, drain and set aside until cool enough to handle before peeling.