The saying may be “eat your greens”, but seriously what about all the other colours? I say go crazy and arrange a rainbow on your plate.
I decided to add as many purple vegetable I could find to make a warm salad. Served with some wild rice and a spicy tahini dressing, it is the perfect way to get more vegetables in your diet, but also look stunning on a plate.
Purple cauliflower is filled with the same antioxidants you get from a glass of red wine, which also gives it the bright purple colour. Purple yam is not the same thing as taro, it only has a similar look. Purple yam is very popular in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines where it is used in desserts, such as cakes, cookies and halo-halo a popular iced dessert(if you ever have the chance to try it I recommend it!).
I kind of cheated with the colour scheme by adding beets. The beets from my garden are two tones, white and red (Chioggia heirloom ones) but as the red was dark I decided to let it slide and use them. It also gave me an opportunity to finally cook with them, I have so many on hand that I can’t find enough recipes to use them in! If I liked pickled beets I would jar some but that would be a waste. I think I might make beet chips out of the rest of the crop and use the beet greens for pesto.
This recipe is completely vegan but lacks real protein so if you want some protein I suggest adding tofu or cannellini beans to keep it vegan. Chicken or white fish will work for non-vegans. The white will contrast nicely with the purple.
I decided to do a Middle Easter twist for this salad, it is full of flavour and spices. This would be a great dish to double and bring to a pot-luck or a picnic as it can be served warm or cold. It may not look like it is enough to fill you but looks are deceiving, one plate of this and you will want to find your bed as a result of food paralysis.
- 3-4 purple yams, cut into rounds
- 1 Head purple cauliflower, cut into steaks or florets
- 1 Purple onion, cut into half moons
- 4-5 Medium Beets, cut into rounds
- 1 Cup wild rice, cooked
- ¼ Cup raisins (use Thompson one if you can)
- 1 Tsp fennel seeds
- 1 Tsp cumin
- 1 Tsp cardamon
- 1 Tsp cinnamon
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 1 Tsp Turmeric
- 1-2 Tbsp chilli, depends on how spicy you want it
- 2 Cloves garlic
- 1 Tsp gram masala
- ¼ Cup lemon juice
- ¼ Cup olive oil plus another ¼ cup
- ½ Cup tahini
- ½ Cup water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Mince garlic and add to a small bowl. Add turmeric, chilli, garam masala, ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice and tahini. Whisk to combine. Use water to thin out. You don't want it too thick, just to the runny stage is perfect. Cover and let sit in refrigerator.
- Combine fennel seeds, cumin, cardamon, cinnamon, salt and pepper with ¼ cup of olive oil in a large bowl. Add in the onions, toss to coat then lay out on a baking tray. Do the same for the yams and beets. If you are using cauliflower florets also do this but if you are using steaks then with a pastry brush or your hands gently rub the remaining oil all over them. Place onto the baking sheet.
- Bake everything for 45 minutes, or until a knife can easily pierce all the vegetables. At this time if you are adding any protein cook it however you like, I recommend using the same spice as the vegetables or just some salt and pepper.
- Combine the vegetable (and protein) with rice in large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat and top with raisins. Serve with remaining dressing.
- If you are making this a day or two before serving then keep vegetables, rice and dressing apart in separate containers.