We just got home from a lovely long weekend down in Sydney. We stayed in the heart of Surry Hills where we walked the streets, ate a ton of good food, visited markets, and even took a ferry ride in the Sunday morning sunshine. As weekend trips often are it was both relaxing and exhausting in equal measure, but it always feels good to be away from home and exploring someplace new. I’ll post some pics and food tips from the trip later in the week, but in the meantime this post is going to be short and sweet coz a warm cozy bed is calling my name!
Salad-as-meal is a daily occurrence in our household. Usually I’ll throw together a nice big salad first thing in the morning while we’re preparing breakfast. S will take a container full of it to work for his lunch, and W and I will enjoy the rest for our lunch on the verandah later in the day.
When I’m making a salad that is going to pass as a meal, I like to throw a legume in there for protein and energy. I’ll also often throw a grain like quinoa in as well, and always a handful of nuts or seeds. My quantity instructions in the ingredients below are deliberately inexact (a handful of this, a handful of that). A salad like this isn’t science – if you’ve got an excess of snowpeas, throw a few more in! If you’ve got some mung bean sprouts lying around, throw those in too!
The lunchtime salads that I put together are usually unplanned, just a combo of whatever is in the fridge, which is usually seasonal veges from the weekend markets. This particular salad is one that I’ve made a few times over the past few weeks and it is just such a delicious combination of crunch and colour and texture that I wanted to share it.
Bean & Fennel Salad
1 cup cooked borlotti beans
1 cup cooked chickpeas
½ fennel bulb
2 – 3 baby carrots
2 sticks celery, tops removed
1 tbsp sultanas
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
⅓ cup tahini drizzle
Start by preparing your tahini drizzle dressing (recipe here), and set aside.
In a large pan over a medium heat dry toast both the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, tossing continually until they start to smell toasty and begin to pop, approx. 5 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately and leave to cool.
Next up, chop the veges. Using a very sharp knife or a mandoline, thinly slice the fennel, the carrots, and the celery. Chop the tops off the snowpeas and slice. Roughly chop the spinach and the parsley. Remove the husk from the corn and slice the kernels from the cob.
In a large bowl, combine all of the veges along with the cooked chickpeas and borlotti beans, the sultanas, and the toasted seeds. When you’re read to serve, stir through the tahini drizzle.
Serves 2 – 4.
Notes: this is a sturdy salad and will keep in the fridge for 3 -4 days. Likewise, the prepared dressing will also keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for 3 -4 days. Make sure to dress the salad only when you’re ready to eat it.