Oat Berry Salad with Mayo Yoghurt Dressing

 

 

 

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…).

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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

Salad Ingredients

  • 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!)

Method

  • 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kinome Dressing

Kinome are the young soft leaves of the Japanese herb prickly ash. The flavour is a fragrant mix of citrus, pepper and mint and the leaves are used as a garnish or in simmered dishes. I like to use kinome to make a fresh, zesty dressing.

The early shoots are just leafing now, in a month or so they’ll be a little prickly and more defined. The seed pods, sansho no mi, appear soon after and once dried are one of the spices used in shichimi, Japanese seven spice.

 

Kinome Dressing

Ingredients

  • 4 tbs kinome, finely chopped
  • 5 tbs (70ml) olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Method

  • Mix the oil, lemon and chopped kinome thoroughly, season to taste

Keeps for about a week in the fridge, although loses its lovely vibrant colour after a day

Kinome, Tomato and Tofu Salad

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbs kinome dressing
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 blocks of silken tofu*
  • 1/4 lettuce, washed and ripped in bite size pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • salt and pepper

Method

  • Arrange the lettuce on a serving plate
  • Gently cut the tofu into quarters and place on the lettuce
  • Mix the tomatoes with the dressing and pour over the tofu
  • Garnish with red onion slices and fresh kinome leaves
  • Check and adjust seasoning if needed

*Tofu is best left on a chopping board that is placed at a slight angle on the draining board for 30 minutes or so to expel water, otherwise it will seep into the salad.