During the summer term at St John’s Primary School, I ran a Friday afternoon cookery club based around cooking with vegetables. Food in Community is a local charity that collects surplus organic produce, mainly from Riverford, and redistributes it to community groups and organisations. They kindly donated a box to the cooking club each week. This means what we cook depends largely on what we get.
Initially, the box came on a Thursday giving me a day to plan for the Friday club. Then it changed arriving on the day, about 30-40 minutes before we started, so I really had to think on my feet.
One week I decided we’d make something using oat groats or oat berries from Grown In Totnes. When cooked they have a wonderfully soft, chewy texture which works really well with lots of crunchy veg in a salad. To make it a little more appealing for the children I created a competition, with the winning recipe to be published online (ie here…).
We had a lovely mixed box of veg that day and a variety of ingredients to make a dressing. I encourage kids to cook without a recipe and to experiment with flavours. We’d been looking at the five tastes and thinking about these when we cook as well as different ways to cut and prepare veg.
The three teams came up with a tomato dressing, yoghurt and mint and yoghurt and mayo combos, all were delicious. We called on Mrs Connolly to do a blind tasting and choose a winner! It was incredibly close but the winning recipe was…..
Oat Berry Salad with Mayo Yoghurt Dressing
Recipe by Jaz Davey and Poppy Bastin
- 300g Oat groats
- 400-500g vegetables: they used tomato, pepper, carrot, broad beans, finely chopped cabbage and spinach, and celery
Dressing – quantities very approximate
- 3 tbs Olive oil
- 1 tbs White wine vinegar
- 2 tbs Mayonnaise
- 2 tbs Natural yoghurt
- 1 tbs Soy sauce
- 1 tsp honey or sugar
- Salt and Pepper
(Had garlic come in the box, they would have used that, too!)
- Cook the oat groats in a pan of water for about 30 mins until soft. Rinse, drain and leave to cool.
- Cut or chop your vegetables. Blanche the broad beans and slip them out of their skins.
- Add the dressing ingredients to a jar, whisk with a fork to combine.
- Put the oat groats in a large serving bowl with the vegetables. Pour over the dressing and gently mix.