Party food chez Winkler. I was too excited to eat, so took small portions. This one went down a treat despite hostess-nerves: the wild rice salad with oven-roasted morsels of beetroot, pumpkin and carrots, and crunchy oven-roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds. My off-the-cuff invention, it’s made the grade for next time.
The six vegetarian salads (see unposed picture above) were easy-on-the-purse and high-on-health:
1. Wild rice salad with pumpkin, beetroot and carrot – followed clockwise in the picture by…
2. Ingrid Rose’s hummus (using her 5 x amounts hummus recipe) – her birthday present to me!
3. Butter bean, mushroom and coriander salad with lemon juice
- a perennial winner thanks to Rose Elliot’s The Bean Book
4. Red split lentils with chilli. Simple dhal – light with bite.
5. Organic wholemilk yogurt with diced cucumber, black pepper and mint
6. Classic potato salad – boil halved-and-quartered (if possible NEW) potatoes until soft enough to fall from a a sharp knife when speared.
The party was on Saturday. I aimed to be prepared and avoid last-minute superstress.
Most of the shopping was done midweek.
Thursday I emptied the packet of butter beans (500g) into a large pan and covered the hard ones with water. Overnight they swelled. Some say throw away the rinsing water to reduce farting – what do you think?
Friday I cooked the swelled-up beans in enough water to cover them and boiled them for 1 HOUR, then drained. I defrosted the frozen wild rice I had cooked earlier that week (with chilli). Texture mushy but taste good.
The drained butter beans mingle eventually – with onions fried in olive oil plus 5 teaspoons of cumin sizzling for seconds. Into the spicy mix go sliced mushrooms, lots of them. You may need to add more olive oil to prevent sticking. Once the mushrooms are cooked but not soggy, then you add the drained butter beans.
I roasted the root vegetables a day-ahead too
- seasonal local beetroots and carrots and (imported) pumpkin roasted for only 20 minutes because they were cut-up so small, and the seeds – they take minutes.
Saturday Boiled potatoes for potato salad and slouched them with olive oil, rock salt and garlic while still warm.
Peeled and diced 3 English cucumbers + mint + 3 large pots of organic yogurt, emptied into a bowl.
Assembled the wild rice salad and cooked roasted root veg and seeds.
Assembled the butter beans + mushrooms + cumin with lemon juice and fresh local organic coriander.
Wow. This was the first time I have been so prepared.
I had even sorted out the serving dishes in advance.
All the more time to party.