This colourful salad is perfect for a spring or summer day. The pickled vegetables are refreshing and tangy and the pesto brings the whole dish together, making it the ultimate salad for a hot day.
FOR THE PICKLE
150g meaty mushrooms, sliced or whole if they are small
150g courgette, half sliced
2 small red onions or 1 medium
100g purple sprout broccoli or asparagus
200g red wine vinegar
100g unrefined sugar
4 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp sea salt
100g extra virgin olive oil
FOR THE PESTO
1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
¾ cups pistachios
1 lemon, zested
Juice of ½ lemon
Small bunch of chive
1 tsp chilli flakes
Pinch of salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Greens of your choice: spinach, mustard leaves, rocket, nasturtium
Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower or hemp seeds
Start by preparing and cutting all the vegetables. Make sure they are trimmed into bite size pieces roughly similar shapes and sizes.
Place the vegetables in a glass bowl or a jar.
Smash the garlic and place it in a pot along with the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Turn off the heat and pour over the vegetables. Allow to cool to room temperature and transfer to an air tight container and cover with the olive oil before sealing. Refrigerate until needed.
Prepare the pesto by simply adding all the ingredients, apart from the olive oil, to a food processor. Once everything is nicely chopped, stream in the olive oil.
Finally, take the mushrooms out of the pickled jar. Prepare a grill pan or sauté pan by heating it to medium-high. Toss the mushrooms with a small amount of olive oil and grill or sauté evenly on each side, flattening the mushroom by applying gentle pressure with the back of a spatula.
Once the mushrooms are grilled, lay them on a tray or plate.
Mix the olive oil back into the pickled vegetables and spoon some of the juices over the mushrooms.
First, arrange the pesto on the plate by applying an even layer where all vegetables can rest. Add the mushrooms and finally add the greens and seeds of your choice.
Vegetables can be easily substituted by others available.
Pistachios can be substituted by sunflower seeds or hemp seeds.
Pickling raw vegetables preserves their antioxidant power and this salad is full of them. In there we have:
Carrots are a particularly good source of beta-carotene, fibre, vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants.
Radishes are packed with vitamins E, A, C, B6 and K. They are also high in antioxidants, fibre, zinc, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese.
Courgettes provide a useful amount of vitamin C and significant levels of potassium, which is key to controlling blood pressure.
Red onions are packed with nutrients, having more health benefits than white onions. They contain high amount of antioxidants and fibre. They are also a natural blood thinner because they are rich in flavonoids. They are also rich in phytochemicals, which are important because they boost our immune system.
Mushrooms contain protein and fibre. They also contain B vitamins as well as selenium, which is a powerful antioxidant, which helps to support the immune system and prevent damages to cells and tissues.
Finally, this salad is packed with greens such as spinach, nasturtium, mustard leaves, which always add nutrition to our dishes. In this case, nasturtium contain high levels of vitamin C.
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, A and C. Also high in folate, manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B12.