Winter Salad with Cinnamon-Roasted Yams, Buckwheat, Walnuts & Orange Juice
Cold weather calls for warm comfort foods like soups, stews, curries, and roasts. And while winter isn't necessarily the time to to
load up on raw salads, It's handy to have marinated grain salads in the fridge for easily transportable lunches and ready-made dinner sides.
This buckwheat salad is kinda fancy...so I'd suggest bringing it to a potluck or dinner party and saving some for yourself for lunch the next day :)
This salad is not only beautiful, it's bursting with antioxidants, minerals, B vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats.
Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free, and if you need this recipe to be vegan, simple omit the feta cheese. It will still be SO delicious!
½ cup unroasted buckwheat
¾ cup water
1 medium-sized yam, peeled and chopped into cubes
1/8 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, sea salt, & pepper
1 Tablespoon coconut oil (for roasting the yam)
1 small granny smith apple (or half a large one), diced
½ cup pomegranate (substitute unsweetened dried cranberries if seeding a pomegranate is too time-consuming for you)
½ cup chopped raw walnuts
1 cup feta cheese (look for feta made from goat or sheep milk)
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
3 springs green onion, diced
Zest of 1 medium-sized organic orange (the one you will squeeze juice out of for the dressing)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing, whisk together these ingredients in a small bowl:
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup pure, organic maple syrup, Grade B or C (dark)
1 garlic clove, grated
1 Tablespoon ginger root, grated
Roast yam cubes in the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and coconut oil for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven, until fully cooked but still firm. Roast walnuts in a small pan in the same oven as the yams, but only for 5-10 minutes.
While yams are roasting, toast the buckwheat in a medium saucepan or skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. They will give off a nutty aroma and turn darker in colour as they toast. Bring the ¾ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the toasted buckwheat and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave to sit with the lid on for 5 minutes, and then fluff the buckwheat with a fork.
In a large salad bowl, combine the apple, pomegranate, walnuts, feta cheese, parsley, sage, green onion, and orange zest. Once buckwheat and yams have cooled (they can still be warm, just not hot), add them to the bowl along with the salad dressing and salt and pepper to taste. Allow the salad to sit for at least an hour for the flavours to meld before serving.