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CHRISTMAS SIDE RECIPE SERIES: SOUR CHERRY AND HAZELNUT BUCKWHEAT SALAD

This baby is definitely one you can prepare on Christmas Eve or first thing in the morning, then pop in the fridge until serving time. We’ve made the salad with buckwheat, for something different and also because it keeps the gluten-free peeps happy but the recipe also works well with Israeli cous cous or freekeh – take your pick!

Sour cherry and Hazelnut Buckwheat salad

TIME TO COOK: 30MINS
SERVES: 8-10 AS A SIDE
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups BUCKWHEAT (or substitute ISRAELI COUS COUS, FREEKEH or other grain of choice)
  • 50ML EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
  • 80g HAZELNUTS (or nut of choice – ALMONDS also work well)
  • SEA SALT + CRACKED BLACK PEPPER
  • 5 BABY RADISHES
  • 1 ZUCCHINI
  • 1 RED SHALLOT
  • 500ml VEGETABLE STOCK
  • 1/3 bunch MINT
  • 60g DRIED SOUR CHERRIES (or substitute CURRENTS, RAISINS, CRANBERRIES or DRIED BLUEBERRIES)
  • 150g FETA / GOAT CHEESE (optional)
  • 1 LEMON
  • 1 large clove GARLIC
UTENSILS REQUIRED:
  • 1 small baking tray
  • 1 large saucepan/pot with lide
  • chopping board + chef’s knife
  • mandolin (optional)
  • small pot
  • large bowl
  • small bowl
  • medium bowl
 STEP 1: COOK BUCKWHEAT
  • Preheat oven to 180°C
  • Place the vegetable stock in a small pot and bring to the boil.
  • Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the buckwheat and sauté for 1-2 minutes until well coated, stirring continuously. Pour in 1 cup of broth and stir gently. Leave it to simmer and continue onto next step while you wait for the broth to absorb (approx. 5 mins). If you are using an alternative grain, cook according to packet instructions.
STEP 2: PREPARE INGREDIENTS
  • Chop the sour cherries and set aside.
  • Thinly slice the radishes and zucchini, using a mandolin if available and place in a medium bowl.
  • Peel and dice the shallot and add to the bowl.
  • Finely chop the mint and add to the bowl, reserving a little for garnish.
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place hazelnuts on the tray and into the oven to toast for 7mins.
STEP 3: CREATE DRESSING
  • If you haven’t already, add remaining broth to the buckwheat and leave to simmer on low until absorbed.
  • Crush or finely chop garlic and place in a small bowl.
  • Cut the lemon into wedges, setting aside a few for garnish.
  • Squeeze the juice of three quarters of the lemon into a small bowl. Add 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil / olive oil, ¼ TSP salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
STEP 4: CHOP NUTS
  • When the hazelnuts have toasted, set aside until cool enough to handle then roughly chop and set aside with the cherries.
  • Remove the buckwheat from heat and place in a large mixing bowl. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil and mix well. Set aside or in the fridge to cool.
STEP 5: MIX + SERVE
  • When it’s serving time, add the veggies (radishes, zucchini, shallot and mint) to the bowl with the buckwheat. Add the dressing to the salad and mix well.
  • Add the chopped dried sour cherries and hazelnuts. Mix again and taste. Season if needed.
  • Sprinkle over with reserved mint, feta/goat cheese (if using) and wedges of lemon to serve.