150g dry split wheat or freekeh
5 tbsp olive oil
Coarse sea salt and pepper
700g carrots, peeled
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A generous handful of picked basil leaves
250g cooked beetroot, cut into 2cm thick wedges
6 fresh oregano stems, leaves picked
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
70g hard goat’s cheese
This recipe offers a multitude of textures, as well as intense colours. Whole wheat or freekeh can be substituted for split wheat. Pearl barley is another option: it will save you the overnight soaking and won’t take so long to cook. Toasted walnuts give another layer of earthy flavours. Serves four.
Soak the wheat in lots of cold water for 24 hours. Drain, cover with fresh water and simmer for an hour, adding boiling water as necessary, to keep the grains immersed. They’re done when tender but still have some firmness. Drain, add a tablespoon of oil and a generous amount of salt, then set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/ gas mark 5. Cut the carrots on an angle 1cm thick. Toss with two tablespoons of oil, vinegar and salt and pepper. Spread in one layer on an oven tray and roast for 30 minutes: they should still be crunchy. Remove from the oven and, while hot, mix with the basil and beetroot. Leave to coo. To assemble, mix the wheat with the carrot and beetroot. Add a tablespoon of oil, oregano and garlic. Taste, and adjust the seasoning. As you plate up, roughly break the cheese and dot around randomly. Finish with a drizzle of oil.