With temperatures reaching 30°C, these last few weeks I’m craving big bowls of fresh, crunchy, colourful salads. The one above I could eat every day. With charred sweetcorn, juicy peppers, cabbage and thinly sliced raw root vegetables, it’s filled with different textures and flavours, while being a feast for the eye.
When it comes to the salad ingredients, you can actually just chuck in all crispy veg you like. I added thin slices of red onion, which can be harsh when you eat it raw. Marinating it in a bit of rice vinegar, though, tames the sharpness and brings out its sweet flavour, to the extent that my girls would eat it all straight from the bowl if I let them.
As a savoury addition, I topped the salad with oven-baked, spiced pecans. You can whip these up in minutes while you cut the veg and I promise you, they’re worth the effort. Apart from adding a bit of protein and healthy fats, they lift up the salad from just a big bowl of healthyness to pure indulgence. They’re actually really good on their own as well and you’re sure to impress your guests if you serve them straight from the oven as a homemade nibble with drinks.
Combined with a tangy lime dressing, spiced pecans, sweet raisins and fragrant coriander, this salad is a flavour bomb. After eating this, you’ll feel fresh, energetic and utterly satisfied.
Crunchy rainbow salad with spiced pecans – serves 4
for the salad
- 1 red onion, halved and finely sliced
- 3 tbsp. rice vinegar (white wine vinegar works fine as well; I’m just very fond of the soft flavour of rice vinegar myself)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 corn cobs, leaves and threads removed
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 300 g red cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 beetroot, uncooked, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 1 parsley root or regular carrot, thinly shaved into long ribbons
for the dressing
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 3 tbsp. rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 portion of spiced pecan nuts
- a handful of yellow raisins
- bunch of fresh coriander leaves
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar. Add the onion rings, mix well and set aside.
If you don’t have the spiced pecans standing ready yet, prepare them now.
Heat a griddle pan until really hot. Put the corn cobs into the pan as they are; they don’t need to be rubbed with oil. Turning them regularly, cook them until tender, bright yellow and evenly covered with nice charred lines. Once cooked, transfer them to a chopping board. Leave them to cool a little, then cut away the kernels.
Whisk the dressing ingredients and season to taste.
Drain the onion rings and mix them with the sweetcorn, the diced peppers and the other vegetables. I played around with my food a bit, so I arranged the ingredients by colour and turned the beetroot and root parsley into roses for presentation purposes only, but for a hearty bowl of salad, you can of course just toss everything together. Divide the salad over four plates, drizzle with the dressing and top with some pecans, raisins and coriander leaves.