Hi, David here. I’ll get to the recipe soon but first I just wanted to share a little scene from last night. Isac was watching a baking program for kids and as I was tucking him in, he thoroughly explained the whole process of making croissants to me. ”You have so much butter in croissants, dad. Like, a lot. You put it on the dough and fold it over the butter like this. And you hit it with the rolling pin like this, bam bam bam”. When it comes to numbers and letters, he can be a little clueless, but the fact that our three year-old had memorized all the details in croissant baking from just watching it once on tv, made me all happy and proud. I’m not saying that mastering a croissant is more important than math, but teaching our kids how to cook has been one of the things I’ve really looked forward to as a dad. And he is really into it. The little kids stove has long been his favorite toy both at home and in kindergarten an he often serves imaginary pancakes to all his friends. I’ve promised him that we will make croissants together tonight so I’m off to prep a dough right after this (making the rye croissants from Green Kitchen Travels). I’ll report back with how it goes.
Today’s recipe doesn’t have anything to do with croissants but Isac does play a little part as kitchen helper in the video below.
So, the recipe. There is one obvious reason why grain bowls have become so popular in the last couple of years. Their looks. If you don’t know what a grain bowl is, it’s basically a mix of roasted and raw vegetables on a bed of grains and herbs arranged in a bowl. The mix of vegetables often make these bowls super colorful and therefore also very popular on instagram. Grain bowls are however more then just pretty. They are hearty and provide a variety of textures and flavors. They are also very easy to adapt to what you have at home and what’s in season. We often make grain bowls for lunch, with any cooked grain, millet or quinoa as the bed, adding leftover vegetables from the fridge on top. In this recipe, we have taken the grain bowl concept and turned it into a platter. It’s topped with roasted and fresh spring vegetables, feta cheese, egg halves and hazelnuts. It’s a beautiful dish and a great one to make for Easter dinner. If you want to take the Easter concept even further, you could add roasted asparagus as well.
We use an organic five-grain mix (emmer wheat, barley, gamut, brown rice and oat groats) from Zeta as the grain base but if you can’t find something similar, go with your favorite grain. Grains thrive with flavor friends, so we have paired these with a quick salsa made from marinated bell peppers, olives, capers, herbs and lemon. And stirred in a bit of feta cheese and toasted hazelnuts as well. It’s all there, flavours, looks and textures.
Roasted Veggie Grain Platter with Bell Pepper Salsa
To make this vegan, you can simply skip the eggs and feta cheese.
1 x 250 g bag Zeta 5-grain mix (or grains of choice)
1 bunch carrots
3 purple spring onions or 2 red onions
2 small zucchini
1 tbsp olive oil
Bell pepper & olive salsa:
100 ml / 1/3 cup grilled marinated bell pepper
100 ml / 1/3 cup Lecchino olives
3 tbsp capers
5-6 stalks fresh parsley and mint
1/2 lemon, juice
4 tbsp olive oil
2-3 medium soft boiled eggs
150 g feta cheese
100 ml / 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
2 handfuls mache lettuce
6 heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch radishes
Preheat the oven at 200°C / 400°F and cover a baking tray with baking paper.
Peal or clean the carrots and trim off the outer layer of the onion. Cut the onion lengthwise and the zucchini in bite-size pieces. Place the vegetables on the tray. Drizzle with oil and salt and roast for 15-20 minutes.
Cook the grains in a large bowl of salted water according to the instructions on the package and drain in a sieve once they are ready.
Make the salsa by chopping all the ingredients finely. Place in a bowl, squeeze over lemon juice and drizzle with oil. Fold the salsa into the grains, reserving some of it for serving. Crumble 2/3 of the feta cheese into the grains and half of the hazelnuts. Toss so everything is mixed.
Pour the grains onto a platter, top with the roasted vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, egg halves, feta cheese and hazelnuts. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the remaining salsa and some sourdough bread on the side.
Disclosure: We were compensated by Zeta for creating this recipe and video using some of their products. All words are our own.