Times change

Happy 2017. As the new year dawns, it’s natural to think of the year ahead and what should be left behind.

I read the news of the impending closure of Ringling Bros Circus after almost a century and a half. Sad that a tradition is ending, but a sign of a changing era. Where what we once thought was OK, is not.

Something that should follow quickly, in my opinion, is New Zealand beach “beauty” competitions. While an iconic part of summers of an innocent bygone era, in the age of social media and immediate broadcast there is something a bit ikky about prepubescent girls parading around in bikinis and waving to crowds. With more kids than ever suffering eating disorders and having anxiety and confidence issues, is a competition based on solely looks sending the right message? An easy answer I’d say.

Just because it’s always been, doesn’t mean it always has to be. Traditions evolve over time. The real Miss (insert beach name), in my book, are the teenagers patrolling the shores and keeping us safe. Not someone who smiles nicely and looks pretty in beach gear.

Food, too, evolves. Summer salads are no longer drenched in store bought un-naturally white, fat-laden mayo. Nor do they need to be lettuce leaves soaking in a bad oil and vinegar mix. My go to salad at the moment is raw broccoli. The support ingredients can be played with and you can omit feta if you don’t like it. I think it provides a rounded flavour and it gives a more robust salad worthy as a lunch time meal on its own.

What you need

½-¾ cup sultanas or raisins

½ fresh orange

½-¾ cup sunflower seeds

1½ heads broccoli

½-¾ cup sultanas or raisins

4-5 tablespoons parsley – measured when chopped

4-5 tablespoons mint – measured when chopped

200gram packet of feta (or to your liking)

Dressing:  (approximate quantities, alter to taste)

1½ fresh oranges, squeezed to make fresh juice

3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt – to taste

Freshly ground black pepper – to taste

How to make it

Put the sultanas in a small bowl and squeeze over the juice from half an orange and add a splash of boiling water. Set aside. (If you are super organized, you can do this a few hours earlier or overnight, which gives time for the sultantas to plump up.)

sunflower-seedsToast the sunflower seeds in a dry fry pan, until they just slightly change colour. Remove seeds from the pan and let cool on a plate.

Wash and dry the broccoli. Chop the florets from the stalk. Finely chop the florets so that the mixture resembles a crumb (this can be done in a food processor if you prefer).

Finely chop the parsley and mint.

Crumble the feta.

20160913_095931Add all of the salad ingredients together and mix well with a large spoon.

20170114_175628Using a whisk, mix together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix with a spoon. Taste and add more seasoning if required. Depending on the size of the broccoli and your taste, you may also want to add more oil and orange juice.

I like to put the salad into the fridge for an hour or two to absorb the flavours, then remove half an hour before serving.

If you like this salad – and I’m sure you will – check back to a previous post with a similar, but different broccoli offering.

Raw Broccoli and Feta Salad

  • Servings: 6-8 as a side dish
  • Time: 25mins plus resting (if desired)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

½-¾ cup sultanas or raisins

½ fresh orange

½-¾ cup sunflower seeds

1½ heads broccoli

½-¾ cup sultanas or raisins

3-4 tablespoons parsley – measured when chopped

2 tablespoons mint – measured when chopped

200 gram packet of feta (or to your liking)

Dressing:  (approximate quantities, alter to taste)

1½ fresh oranges, squeezed to make fresh juice

3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt – to taste

Freshly ground black pepper – to taste

Directions

  1. Put the sultanas in a small bowl and squeeze over the juice from half an orange and add a splash of boiling water. Set aside. (If you are super organized, you can do this a few hours earlier or overnight, which plumps up the sultanas.)
  1. Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry fry pan, until they just slightly change colour. Remove seeds from the pan and let cool on a plate.
  1. Wash and dry the broccoli. Chop the florets from the stalk. Finely chop the florets so that the mixture resembles a crumb (this can be done in a food processor if you prefer).
  1. Finely chop the parsley and mint.
  1. Crumble the feta.
  1. Add all of the salad ingredients together and mix well with a large spoon.
  1. Using a whisk, mix together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix with a spoon. Taste and add more seasoning if required. Depending on the size of the broccoli and your taste, you may also want to add more oil and orange juice.
  1. I like to put the salad into the fridge for an hour or two to absorb the flavours, then remove half an hour before serving.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s