I love the bitterness of witlof [chicory] paired with the sweetness of baby carrots and orange, dressed with tart umeboshi – what a flavoursome combo. Both carrots and witlof (similar to radicchio in flavour), are a very good source of pro-vitamin A, which is vital for supporting healthy mucous membranes in the gut and skin. Witlof is also a good source of fibre and helps promote the secretion of bile, which aids the liver and gall bladder in digestion. This superfood also contains a potent flavonoid called kaempferol, which pre-clinical studies show possesses antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Ingredients Main course
- 135 g black or tri-colour quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
- 375 ml water (12 1/2 fl oz / 1 1/2 cups)
- 500 g Dutch carrots, tops trimmed (1 lb 2 oz, approx. 1 bunch)
- 2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 200 g witlof (chicory), leaves separated (7 oz, approx. 2-3 heads)
- 1 large handful mint
- 35 g walnuts, toasted & coarsely chopped
- finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed orange
- 60 ml freshly squeezed orange juice (2 fl oz / 1/4 cup)
- 2 umeboshi salted plums, pitted
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp warm water
- 2 tsp manuka honey
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas Mark 6).
In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and water and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook the quinoa for 15 minutes until almost all of the water has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit, covered, for another 5 minutes, or until the quinoa’s ‘tails’ have sprouted and the remaining water has been absorbed.
Spread the quinoa out on a tray and set aside to cool. Arrange the carrots in a baking tray, dot with ghee and sprinkle with ground coriander.
Roast for 15 minutes, or until just tender and beginning to caramelise. Set aside to cool. To make the dressing, blend all ingredients except for the pepper in a small food processor. Season with pepper.
Combine the quinoa, carrots, witlof, mint and walnuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.