A Floral Lunch

A very quick, easy and nutritious lunch:

You’ll need: Buckwheat, fresh herbs, tomatoes, carrot, goats’ cheese, nuts, mayonnaise, salad leaves, edible flowers – e.g. borage, calendula, nasturtium (please DO NOT use flowers if you are not 100% sure they are edible – some are poisonous)

In a small saucepan, heat half a tablespoon of olive oil. Add half a cup of toasted buckwheat & fry for a few minutes (I don’t think you strictly have to do this when the buckwheat is already toasted, but it smells lovely and nutty). I keep meaning to throw in a finely-chopped clove of garlic too, because I think that would be good, but always forget. Add one cup of boiling water and a teaspoon of tamari or some salt to taste. Simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Allow to stand and cool. The water should all be absorbed.

Meanwhile, chop a tablespoon of fresh parsley and any other favourite herbs (today I used oregano and lemon balm). Chop four or five cherry tomatoes (or one large tomato if that’s what you have), grate a carrot (sometimes I add a grated radish – at the moment we are betwixt radish crops though), chop some goats’ cheese into cubes. Mix all this into the buckwheat, add a tablespoon of nuts (walnuts are very good, as are cashew or pine nuts) and some mayonnaise (I use Plamil Egg-free Mayonnaise). Mix everything up.

Alternatives to buckwheat which I often use are rice, bulgar wheat and sometimes quinoa (although that seems uncomfortably like frogspawn).

For the salad: a few lettuce leaves, some young and tender marbled nasturtium leaves, some basil, a few borage flowers and calendula petals.

Salad dressing (this makes loads): In a jar, put a desertspoon of mustard (not powder – I use Cumberland Honey Mustard), a smidgen of salt and pepper, and two tablespoons of Cumberland Raspberry vinegar. Stir this up well and add 6 to 8 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir again (or shake the jar) and pour a little over the salad leaves.

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