This salad uses three of the most beautiful vegetables! Romanesco with its fractal-like swirls, rainbow chard with jewel bright stems, and a beautiful squash striped with green, cream and yellow. A most pleasing salad to prepare!
All of these vegetables of course, do require cooking, so I’ve prepared each one differently, using the method I think best to bring out the texture and flavour. The squash is roasted, the romanesco is steamed, and the chard braised.
I’ve also added kidney beans for extra colour and some protein, and a great dressing which includes the plum sauce I made the other day. The base of the dressing is a vegan mayonnaise (I use the term mayonnaise loosely…). Ages ago I’d seen a recipe in an old Rose Elliot book for a soy flour based mayo, of course I couldn’t find the book when I needed it due to my haphazard book organisation (and just possibly, the fact that there are so many of them…), so I asked the internet. The recipes I found used a lot of oil, which I wasn’t keen on, so I cut that right back and the result is great.
The vegetables around in the shops at the moment are amazing, and it’s so gratifying to combine them in a delicious way!
serves 2, generously
1 small romanesco, florets only (save the core section for soup)
200 g rainbow chard, stalks cut into 1 inch pieces, and leaves shredded
1 small squash, about 600 g, cut into wedges and seeds removed
1 400 g tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
250 ml boiling water
1 tsp brown rice miso
1 tsp oil
10 g fresh coriander, chopped
for the dressing
2 tbsp soy flour
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp soy milk
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp mustard powder
pinch of salt
3 tbsp plum sauce, use the one I made here or you favourite
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c.
Cut the squash into wedges and remove the seeds. Toss with 1 tsp of oil in a roasting tin and cook until tender, mine took 50 minutes, but it depends on the variety you’re using.
While the squash is roasting cook the chard. Put the water and miso in a large shallow saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the chard stalks and simmer for 5 minutes. Next add the kidney beans and cook for a further 4 minutes. Pile the shredded chard leaves on top and cover the pan. Cook for two minutes, by which point the chard will be wilting, stir, and cook uncovered for another minute. Leave to cool.
Steam the romanesco until just tender, I did mine in the microwave which took 3 minutes.
Next make the dressing, put the soy flour, oil, mustard powder, nutritional yeast, soy milk and salt in a mini blender (I use the attachment on my immersion blender). Whizz together until thick, it should only take a few seconds. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the plum sauce. If you’re using my recipe it should take 3 tbsp, but for other types start with 1 tbsp and taste adding more if needed.
When the squash is cooked, cool a little and then cut the skins off and cut it into cubes.
To assemble the salad, drain the kidney bean and chard mixture and place in a bowl. Top with squash, coriander, and romanesco. Drizzle the dressing over the whole lot.