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Bulgur Salad with Halloumi and Lemon-Caper Dressing

Yes, the weather is chilly, but fresh-tasting dishes like bulgur salad with halloumi still find a way into my kitchen. This salad is packed with lots of wholesome, fresh flavors — ones that take you back to warmer days.

As a barbecue staple, halloumi doesn’t often make its way into my kitchen, but sometimes it’s just the perfect thing to satisfy the craving for something salty. Which is what brought me to this tasty bulgur salad with halloumi fried to perfection, together with rucola, fresh herbs, sweet tomato, green onion and pine nuts tossed together with in a tasty lemon-caper dressing.

Bulgur Salad with Halloumi and Lemon-Caper Dressing

Make this Bulgur Salad with Halloumi Your Own

Totally adaptable, this is a quick vegetarian salad recipe that you make your own. My favorite way to enjoy halloumi’s golden crust and chewy center is in a salad is with grilled eggplant and cherry tomatoes. A dream team. Bulgur is a classic for salads, like tabouleh, which are terrific with fresh herbs and tomatoes. But there are so many other grains that are perfect in salads. So try quinoa, Grünkern, or barley. All delicious choices.

Bulgur Salad with Halloumi and Lemon-Caper Dressing

How to Fry Halloumi

The simplest way to cook halloumi is to just fry slices in a dry non-stick skillet or grill pan. There’s no need for oil, in fact dry-frying helps create a nice golden crust on the outside while keeping the inside soft and perfectly ready to add to the salad. Thanks to the low levels of acid in this cheese, it remains firm on the outside and instead of melting, it browns instead. Which is exactly why it’s such a great popular choice for summer grilling. No need to wait until summer, it’s fantastic anytime of year!

Bulgur Salad with Halloumi and Lemon-Caper Dressing
5 from 1 vote
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Bulgur Salad with Halloumi and Lemon-Caper Dressing

Packed with fresh flavors, this quick and delicious bulgur salad with halloumi can be enjoyed anytime of year.
Course Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 632 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 100 g bulgur
  • 1 x 200 g package organic halloumi, sliced
  • generous handful young arugula leaves
  • a handful of fresh mint or parsley or a mixture of both, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons capers (in brine), drained and chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh red chili, seeded, membrane removed and finely chopped (optional)

Method

  1. Cook bulgur according to package instructions; in lightly salted water for 10 minutes, until tender and fluffy. Transfer to a serving bowl to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil with the lemon juice, capers, chili and garlic. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a dry, non-stick frying pan (or grill pan) over medium to medium-high heat, and gently fry the halloumi slices for about 2-3 minutes, until golden and crispy on both sides, turning carefully.
  4. Add the arugula, herbs, tomato, and green onion to the bowl with the bulgur; toss to combine. Pour over the dressing and toss again.
  5. Transfer to salad plates, garnish with the pine nuts and top with the halloumi slices. Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Kumpir with Black Bean Salsa

Sweet potato kumpir. What a beautiful thing. Yeah – theeeeese are goooood. With this kumpir recipe, once again the humble potato shines through! Thank you Turkish street food for inspiring me to explore a vegan version made with sweet potatoes, rather than good old spuds. And this version is served with a sort of mediterrean TexMex mash-up of chunky salsa, full of tasty, fresh flavors.

This sweet potato kumpir recipe is made with just basic 10 ingredients (give or take). Plus it’s healthy, entirely plant-based, and gluten-free. Not to mention, it’s the perfect way to refuel since it’s filling and nutritious.

What is a Kumpir?

Still confused what “kumpir is? Well kumpir actually the Turkish name for a baked potato (a big baked potato) chock full with various fillings. Traditionally, the baked potato is sliced lengthwise in half and seasoned with salt, shredded cheese and butter inside and then comes the toppings…. It’s one of those things I enjoy as lunch pretty much every week.

Only because I discovered a Turkish cafe near my office that serves them with the most delicious toppings. Five in all to choose from. Couscous salad, chickpea salad, avocado salad, tabouleh, and a whole lot of fresh veggies and other tasty choices. Yep, those mentioned are my fave. Plus carrots, cause they are good for you. 😉 To serve, it’s topped with a little sour cream and a spicy housemade chili chutney — to die for.

Sweet Potato Kumpir with Black Bean Salsa

Sweet Potato Kumpir with Black Bean Salsa

Vegane Süßkartoffel-Kumpir (Gefüllte Süßkartoffeln) mit schwarze Bohnen TexMex Salsa
However, the inspiration for this recipe not only comes from Turkish fast food, but also from a colleague of mine in Amsterdam. We recently had a team meeting in Stockholm and were asked to cook a spontaneous dinner for my boss at her home. So, as a member of “team dinner”, we made this delicious sweet potato kumpir recipe with black bean salsa, my favorite chickpea and tomato salad and well…BBQ, for the meat lovers.

The thing I really love about this recipe is that it’s not your typical TexMex salsa. It has tangy pomegranate seeds which give it that extra special something.

Yes, I think you guys are going to LOVE these sweet potato kumpirs. They are:
Naturally sweet (hence “sweet” potato! but feel free to sub in regular potatoes!)
Subtly spicy unless you up the jalepenos
Fresh and flavorful
Healthy
100% plant-based and gluten-free
& Filling

So go ahead and plan a potato party! Great thing is you can also do these on the BBQ!

Sweet Potato Kumpir with Black Bean Salsa
5 from 2 votes
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Sweet Potato Kumpir

A fantastic recipe for Sweet Potato Kumpir - stuffed baked sweet potato served with a black bean salsa made with tomatoes, avocado, sweet red onion, cilantro, pomegranate and jalepeno. A super delicious dish that is naturally suitable for anyone following a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 456 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the potatoes:

  • 4 medium organic sweet potatoes (alternatively large firm-cooking potatoes)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salsa:

  • 1 x 400 g can black beans rinsed and drained (or 200g dried black beans, cooked 'perfectly')
  • seeds from 1/2 pomegranate, more if desired
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 15 cherry or mini roma tomatoes, quartered (about 150 g)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 tablespoons jalepenos (from a jar)
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

To serve:

  • Plain coconut yoghurt or sour cream

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F / 210°C C. Rinse the sweet potatoes and use a fork to prick several holes into the skin. Place each sweet potato on an aluminum foil square and drizzle with a small amount of oil. Using your hands, rub the oil in a thin, even layer all over the potato. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap with the foil and place them on a baking tray. Be sure the foil is well-sealed.
  2. Bake 50-60 minutes (depending on size), or until you can pierce them easily with a knife or until it feels soft when you squeeze it.
  3. While the sweet potatoes cook, prepare the salsa. In a medium bowl, combine all the salsa ingredients and toss to combine. Set aside.
  4. Once the sweet potatoes are done, remove from the oven remove the foil and transfer to serving plates. Make a slit lengthwise end-to-end across the top and fluff the inside with a fork before stuffing with the salsa topping.
  5. Serve with extra salsa on the side and coconut yoghurt or sour cream. Enjoy!

Notes

When using dried beans, I like to soak them for improved digestibility. I do this overnight in cool water, or for 6 hours. Then cook according to package instructions. For quicker cooking times, a pressure cooked can be used. This requires no soaking and the beans cook at high pressure for 25 minutes. Which is fantastic since they cook along with the potatoes. Or if you are feeling lazy or tired after a long day, go for canned black beans. They are harder to find in Germany, but can be found at specialty stores and some organic food stores. Look for the Italien label "Probios Bio Organic Fagioli Neri al Naturale" or black beans from Amaizin or Rapunzel.

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How did you like it?

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Green Bean Potato Salad with Lentils

A green bean potato salad is a classic. Though this time, I thought I would mix it up a bit by adding some French green lentils and capers, plus some fresh herbs, celery and radishes to give this salad a boost of fresh summery flavors. The new potatoes are boiled and then tossed with a tasty honey Dijon mustard vinaigrette while still warm. That’s the key to making sure they absorb some of the vinaigrette and become more flavorful!

Preparing this Green Bean Potato Salad with Lentils

This salad can be served warm or at room temperature. But it’s actually a mix of both. The green beans are blanched and then plunged into an ice bath to ensure that they stay bright green and are crisp-tender to the bite. Then they are tossed together with the warm potatoes and lentils. I choose French green lentils for this recipe, as they stay nice and firm, and integrate seamlessly with all the other elements of this green bean potato salad. Plus, they have a way of making the salad feel hearty without taking away from the potato carb-like quality.
Lentil, Green Bean and Potato Salad

The best way to prepare potatoes for a potato salad

When it comes to potatoes, you want to add the potatoes to a pot of cold water and then bring it to a boil. Adding them to already boiling water can lead to uneven cooking. And who wants a potato salad with potatoes that are mushy on the outside and uncooked in the middle? We also want to create a well-seasoned potato salad. And this is where salt comes into play. Adding salt to the water when the potatoes cook allows the potatoes to absorb a little of it, which helps season and makes them more flavorful. This is especially the case if you half the potatoes (peel on) before adding them to the pot of water — they also cook faster this way!

Looking for other classic versions of a green bean and potato salad?

Then try one of these recipes:
Roasted Corn and Potato Salad with Green Beans
Potato and Green Bean Salad with Crispy Prosciutto
New Potato Salad with Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes
Tahini Green Beans and Potatoes

Green Bean Potato Salad with Lentils
5 from 2 votes
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Lentil, Green Bean and Potato Salad

Whether eaten warm, at room temperature or out of the fridge, this brightly flavored and crunchy green bean and potato salad is tossed in a honey-Dijon dressing and makes a tasty side dish or main meal salad and is the perfect pair to your next picnic or BBQ. Serves 4-6.
Course Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 404 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 650 g baby new potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 1/2 cup dry French green lentils (Le Puy lentils) (100 g)
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • 250 g green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
  • generous handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the honey dijon mustard vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar (unfiltered)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey, plus more, if desired
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan cook the lentils according to package instructions, until al dente, about 25 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover them with cold water. Add a some salt and bring the potatoes to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook potatoes until they are just tender, about 12-15 minutes (depending on size).
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to bowl and allow them to cool slightly. Reserve the cooking water (you‘ll need this for blanching the beans).
  4. Prepare the dressing by combining all of the ingredients into a large serving bowl. Whisk together until emulsified. Set aside.
  5. Once you can handle the potatoes, peel them (if desired), cut them into quarters and transfer them to the serving bowl with the dressing. Add the the lentils and celery. Toss to combine and set aside. NOTE: depending on the type of new potato, I may or may not peel them. Red-skinned and thin, delicate skinned white potatoes are delicious with the skin left on.

    NOTE: depending on the type of new potato, I may or may not peel them. Red-skinned and thin, delicate skinned white potatoes are delicious with the skin left on.

  6. Bring the saucepan of water used for the potatoes back to a boil. Add the green beans and boil until crips-tender, about 2-3 minutes (or to desired degree of doneness). Drain and place them in an ice bath or run them under cold water to halt the cooking process.
  7. Pat the green beans dry with a kitchen towel and add them to the bowl with the potatoes. Then add the capers, radishes, dill and parsley; toss well to combine. Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.
  8. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Enjoy!

Notes

You’ll want to add the potatoes to the bowl with the dressing while they are still warm. They’ll absorb some of the vinaigrette and become more flavorful.

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How did you like it?

Please let me know how this Lentil, Green Bean and Potato Salad recipe turned out for you! I would love to hear how you liked it. Simply rate it with the stars above ⭐or leave me a comment and rate it below.

Did you make any changes to this recipe?

If you have tips for other readers, let me know! It helps me and other readers so much. Sharing is Caring :-).

This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional and the price remains the same. More about advertisements on Elle Republic.

Spinach Salad with Beets, Chickpeas, Bulgur and Feta

This power-packed spinach salad with beets is chockfull of lots of good things! There’s cumin and coriander spiced chickpeas and red onion, whole grain bulgur, toasted walnuts, a little mint (a key addition that totally makes this salad!) plus original Greek feta. So tasty! And it provides enough fuel to be considered a main meal salad! Enjoy it warm or at room temperature, for lunch or for dinner.
Spinatsalat mit gerösteter Rote Bete und Kichererbsen

A garlic-free spinach salad!

And guess what, there’s no garlic in this spinach salad, so you can enjoy leftovers as a take to work lunch. Haha, garlic. This reminds me when I was working in Munich and had a colleague of mine complain to my boss that she was suffering “migraines” because I smelled like garlic. She actually took sick leave. Seriously? I sat at least 6 meters from her and although I love everything garlic, I don’t eat every day… hmmm okay, maybe every second day. Nonetheless, this colleague returned to work and proceeded in a cinderella stepmother fashion, to tell me that it was forbidden to eat Italian food, marinated olives, sun-dried tomatoes (or the likes) and definitely not a salad with a French dressing. Sunday through Thursday. Period. Is this for real?

Say hello to my new favorite garlic-free salad! The perfect thing to make this month which is full of bursts of sun and bursts of showers, where I really can’t decide whether I want to eat something warm or cold.

Spinach Salad with Roasted Beets, Chickpeas, Bulgur and Feta

Spinach Salad with Beets, Chickpeas, Bulgur and Feta

Welcome Spring with a Spinach Salad with Beets, Chickpeas, Bulgur and Feta

I hope you LOVE this salad! It’s:

Fresh
Packed with healthy goodness
Satisfying
Flavorful
& Easy to make!

Spinatsalat mit gerösteter Rote Bete und Kichererbsen

Looking to save time? Well, the beets can be roasted ahead of time, or you can buy a package of precooked beets which would make this the perfect weeknight meal when you need something healthy and satisfying on the table fast! It also keeps well, which makes it ideal make ahead lunch.

Spinach Salad with Beets, Chickpeas, Bulgur and Feta
5 from 1 vote
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Spinach Salad with Roasted Beets, Chickpeas, Bulgur and Feta

A delicious, healthy and easy spinach salad recipe with roasted beets, chickpeas, bulgur, walnuts, mint and feta. Even with roasting beets, it's ready in less than 45 minutes. For a quick-midweek meal either roast the beets ahead of time or use store-bought pre-cooked ones.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 557 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the roasted beets:

  • 3 medium-sized beets, peeled, halved, then quartered (500-600 g)
  • olive oil, to coat the beets
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 200 g bulgur
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 x 400 g can organic chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 100 g baby spinach leaves
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and lightly roasted
  • 2 tablespoons Crema di Balsamico
  • 150 g feta cheese, crumbled

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the beets with a drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Transfer the beets to the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through, until the beets are tender (cooking time may vary slightly depending on the size of the beet pieces). Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the bulgur (according to package instructions). Cook in a 2:1 ratio water to bulgur. Bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Cover and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cook, stirring for 5 minutesor until tender. Add the cumin, coriander, and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas and roasted beetroot, and stir until chickpeas heated.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the bulgur, spinach, mint and walnuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil of the Crema di Balsamico and the remaining oil (2 tablespoons). Add the chickpea beet mixture and toss to coat. Serve into bowls and scatter with feta cheese. Drizzle with the remaining Crema di Balsamico and enjoy!

Notes

Store-bought pre-cooked beets can also be used for this recipe if you are looking for a quick mid-week meal!

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How did you like it?

Please let me know how this Spinach Salad with Roasted Beets, Chickpeas, Bulgur and Feta recipe turned out for you! I would love to hear how you liked it. Simply rate it with the stars above ⭐or leave me a comment and rate it below.

Did you make any changes to this recipe?

If you have tips for other readers, let me know! It helps me and other readers so much. Sharing is Caring :-).

This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional and the price remains the same. More about advertisements on Elle Republic.

Spring Asparagus Pasta Salad

Spring has finally arrived!! And since warm weather is on its way, I thought it would be the perfect time to enjoy a fresh and tasty asparagus pasta salad. One that screams springs greens!

Which is pretty much means a spring asparagus pasta salad, because I have been dying to jump into asparagus season. Green asparagus isn’t the only green in this spring pasta salad. There is also young baby spinach, sweet basil, fresh dill, and one super fresh farmers market zucchini. Yes, so this really is a “full of greens pasta” salad. One that satisfies my need, want, complete love of green foods.

Frühlings-Nudelsalat mit Spargel, Zucchini, Artischockenherzen, Kapern, Spinat Rezept

A simple spring asparagus pasta salad loaded with fresh flavors

But it’s not green in the way you might think boring — NOPE, there are tasty artichokes, capers, pine nuts and parmesan together with a zingy dressing to liven things up. And it’s so simple to make. Seriously simple. The asparagus is braised in a skillet, just until al dente and the zucchini, well it’s only in there for a minute. Just long enough to warm it up and soften the texture ever so slightly. The key to a super tasty pasta salad is really fresh and quality ingredients. Because they impart so much more flavor which separates bland from over-the-moon-delicious.

Spring Asparagus Pasta Salad, Zucchini, Artichokes, Capers, Spinach Recipe

Frühlings-Nudelsalat mit Spargel, Zucchini, Artischockenherzen, Kapern, Spinat Rezept

Jarred or fresh marinated artichoke hearts? What’s best?

For this recipe, I used jarred artichoke hearts (not the oily kind) which is totally fine, but if you have the chance pick up some marinated ones at the market or your local delicatessen do it! They taste even better! And a little secret, I really love the herb-marinated packaged artichoke hearts at my local organic food store (Alnatura). Naturally, they are a little more expensive, but super tasty (you’ll find them in the refrigerated section).

Nonetheless, my favorite Schwabe is a Schwabe after all and is perfectly at home with the supermarket variety jarred version. And that’s okay. There are so many other great things going on with this salad, they totally fit in! But of course, when it goes for quality, choose the best and freshest vegetables and go for the high quality olive oil – if I’m going to use the really good stuff, I want to TASTE how good it is. Same goes with red wine vinegar. You want to taste the joy.

Frühlings-Nudelsalat mit Spargel, Zucchini, Artischockenherzen, Kapern, Spinat Rezept

Spring Asparagus Pasta Salad, Zucchini, Artichokes, Capers, Spinach Recipe

Torchiette pasta is a great, original shape. Or pick your favorite short pasta variety.

So what about the noodles? I am the queen of changing things up with using funny shaped noodles in salads. But if I had to choose one, true and tried favorite, it would be farfalle… I think this is purely because of the way they look. Little bowties…little butterflies. And they are easy enough to find in a whole grain or spelt variety. But this time I choose little twisty noodles, called Torchiette, which in Italian means “little torches” — they were perfect.

Not all cheese is vegetarian

I would love to say that this spring pasta salad is vegetarian, but actually it’s not. Parmesan isn’t actually vegetarian. Surprise, surprise, but it’s actually produced according to traditional methods which use calf rennet (an enzyme that helps milk separate into curds and whey). So if you are following a strict vegetarian diet then look for a vegetarian alternative, Montello Parmesan or other hard cheese that is produced without with animal rennet.

Spring Asparagus Pasta Salad with artichokes
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Spring Asparagus Pasta Salad

This easy Spring Artichoke Pasta Salad is quick and easy to make ahead and is SO delicious! Serves 4 as a main, or 6 or more, as a side.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 585 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the pasta salad:

  • 400 g uncooked short pasta I used torchiette
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus sliced on the bias into bite-sized pieces (500 g)
  • 1 medium zucchini sliced thinly with a mandoline
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 x 310 g jar artichoke hearts (in brine or marinated), drained and coarsely chopped
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers (in brine), drained and coarsely chopped
  • generous handful baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 40 g parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 30 g pine nuts, lightly toasted

For the dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente (according to package directions). Drain pasta and rinse under cold water for about 20-30 seconds until no longer hot. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, as the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chopped asparagus, season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the garlic and zucchini, plus 1 tablespoon water (this helps steam the vegetables) and continue sautéing for 1 minute more, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant. The asparagus should be tender but still slightly crisp on the inside and the zucchini only slightly cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, asparagus mixture, artichoke hearts, green onions, capers, spinach, parmesan and toasted pine nuts. Drizzle with the dressing, then toss to combine.
  6. Serve garnished with additional parmesan, if desired. Enjoy!
  7. This spring asparagus pasta salad also keeps well. Just cover it and refrigerate it in a sealed container (for up to 2-3 days).

Notes

If using capers in vinegar, rinse before using.

Did you try this recipe?

Then tag @ellerepublic on Instagram and hashtag it #ellerepublic

How did you like it?

Please let me know how this Spring Asparagus Pasta Salad recipe turned out for you! I would love to hear how you liked it. Simply rate it with the stars above ⭐or leave me a comment and rate it below.

Did you make any changes to this recipe?

If you have tips for other readers, let me know! It helps me and other readers so much. Sharing is Caring :-).

This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional and the price remains the same. More about advertisements on Elle Republic.

Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Hello roasted cauliflower lovers — this is for you! This Moroccan-spiced roasted cauliflower soup is a simple vegan recipe that is flavor-packed, naturally creamy, healthy and super easy to prepare. Roasting the cauliflower is essential to bringing out its nutty flavor — a step that shouldn’t be missed since it adds so much richness and depth of flavor. This soups is made with an aromatic blend of spices; cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon which give it a delicious Moroccan flavor. Yellow lentils help make it extra thick and creamy, and also give the soup a little protein, fiber and iron boost. A good thing for any vegan recipe.

Geröstete Blumenkohl

This roasted cauliflower soup is low-calorie and filling

This recipe makes a big pot of soup. Big enough for 6 to 8 people, depending on how hungry you are, and whether you decide to eat it alone, or with a salad or a slice of bread. And when I say low-calorie I mean only 236 calories in a big bowl of soup! I only managed to eat a small bowl, because t’s amazingly filling. Which is good news for anyone counting calories and doesn’t want to feel like they are starving themselves!

Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Cauliflower Soup with yellow lentils, vegan recipe

Roasted cauliflower tastes best

So a note on cauliflower… even if you are not a big fan, you may discover, just as I did, that roasting cauliflower completely transforms it. I still don’t like steamed cauliflower but I absolutely love roasted cauliflower. Roasted in the oven until the edges caramelize with a little bit of salt is simply delicious. And when you blend it up in a soup, it becomes so creamy.

Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Adaptions to this cauliflower soup recipe

If you are cooking as a single or even a couple, feel free to reduce the recipe by half — unless of course you like eating the same soup for four days in a row! The lentils can also be left out, in which case you can reduce the amount of water slightly. I like the way lemon brightens up the flavor of this soup, but a teaspoon or two of your favorite vinegar would also do the same, or stir in a little bit of tangy crème fraîche or natural yoghurt. As for toppings, I like to serve this soup topped roasted cauliflower. It adds a nice textural element, but you could garnish this roasted cauliflower soup with a number of other toppings, as suggested in the recipe.

Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Cauliflower Soup
4 from 3 votes
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Moroccan-Spiced Cauliflower Soup

A simple vegan recipe for roasted cauliflower soup that is creamy, comforting, and packed with healthy and flavorful ingredients! Extra filling and creamy thanks to yellow lentils. This recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free and makes 6-8 portions. Feel free to reduce the recipe by half if serving for 2 to 4 persons!
Course Soup
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 236 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

To roast the cauliflower:

  • 2 medium heads of cauliflower, cut into florets (ca. 1.8 kg)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly peeled and grated ginger
  • teaspoons ground cumin
  • teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (Ceylon)
  • Generous grind of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup yellow lentils (100 g)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (1 litre)
  • 3 cups water (750 ml)
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Options for garnish:

  • roasted cauliflower florets
  • thinly sliced green onion tops
  • toasted + chopped nuts or seeds
  • chopped parsley or cilantro
  • extra squeeze of lemon
  • dollop of crème fraîche or natural yoghurt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl, drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt; toss to evenly coat.
  3. Transfer the cauliflower evenly among the two baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Roast for 35 minutes, or until edges are browned and cauliflower is tender, switching the position of the trays and flipping the cauliflower about halfway through.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the onion, garlic and carrot until the onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the fresh ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper and cook, stirring, until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the broth, water and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 15 minutes while the cauliflower finishes roasting.
  7. When the cauliflower is done, transfer the roasted cauliflower to the broth mixture. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add more water to thin the soup out if necessary.
  8. Alternatively, cool the soup slightly, then purée in a blender, in small batches as necessary. If using a blender make sure the hole in the center of the lid is open to allow steam to escape.
  9. Stir in the fresh lemon juice, taste and adjust seasoning, if desired.
  10. Spoon into bowls and garnish as desired. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • I find that using only vegetable broth can overpowers the flavor of soup, so prefer to use part broth and part water. Of course, you can replace all the water with vegetable broth if desired, especially so if using homemade vegetable broth.
  • Not loving lentils? Then skip them and reduce the water by 250ml.
    This soup, like most other soups, will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator.

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Coconut Curry Salmon with Green Beans & Potatoes

Perfect coconut curry salmon + summer green beans + new potatoes. Absolutely delicious. Yep, if you are looking for a new and delicious way to enjoy salmon, you will love this one! The flavor is so delicious. In this recipe, you’ll find fresh red chili and ginger, juicy summer tomatoes, and four spices to give it its tasty flavor: cumin, coriander, turmeric and paprika. The salmon is moist, somewhat buttery and flakey, the sauce simple; creamy and rich while being light at the same time. And there is a mild touch of heat with a nice bright finish thanks to a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.

Here’s why it’s perfect:
tastes sensational
nutritious
quick
easy
COMFORT FOOD PURE

Coconut Curry Salmon with Green Beans & Potatoes

A curry inspired by a simple family classic

I am a big fan of curries, curries of all kinds. Thai, Indian, African, Carribean…you name it. And I have been wanting to make a fish curry for a while now. This one was inspired by something a simple meal I grew up on. Oven roasted salmon, boiled new potatoes and steamed green beans — or a pan-sheet version of all three roasted in the oven. It doesn’t get simpler than that. I’m pretty sure this was a Canadian family classic. And since the combination of those three things just seem to work perfectly together, I decided to make a curry using them as the base. I’ve experimented a number of times, and this is my favorite version. This is a basic uncomplicated curry that I would consider mild. If you want a little more spice I would suggest adding a little cayenne pepper to the mix.

Lachs-Curry, Lachsfilet in Kokos-Curry mit grünen Bohnen und Kartoffeln Rezept

A quick and easy no-fuss coconut curry salmon recipe

What I love about this dish, besides it tasting so damn good is, that it’s one of the those recipes that I would call a “no-fuss meal”. It’s a big-flavored one-bowl meal that comes together in a little more than half an hour, making it ideal for a weeknight dinner. You can enjoy this dish “as is”, but I recommend serving the creamy coconut broth over rice or even over some rice noodles for a well-balanced, filling meal. If you don’t like fish, you could also fry up some cubed, skinless, chicken breast filet and add it to the curry instead. Or if you prefer a vegan or vegetarian version, then try adding some cauliflower — either roast it in the oven to bring out some caramelised flavors, or steam it and add it to the curry before serving.

Coconut Curry Salmon with Green Beans & Potatoes
5 from 1 vote
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Coconut Curry Salmon with Green Beans & Potatoes

A satisfying Coconut Curry Salmon with Green Beans & Potatoes recipe that is still summery enough to keep dinner light when enjoying warm summer days.
Course Main Course
Category Curry
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 496 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 250-300 g baby new potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in half or quarters, depending on size
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small yellow onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger
  • 2 fresh red chilies, seeded and deveined
  • 3 roma or 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika (sweet)
  • generous grind of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 x 400 ml can organic coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth (60 ml)
  • 500 g skinless salmon filet cut into 2 cm cubes
  • handful green beans trimmed and halved (100-150 g)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • fresh coriander leaves or parsley, to garnish

To serve:

  • whole grain basmati rice or jasmine rice

Method

  1. Cook the potato in salted, boiling water for 8-10 minutes, until almost tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or wok, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add onions, ginger and garlic and cook until onions starting to soften but not brown, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add fresh chili, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, black pepper, and sea salt and cook for about 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  4. Add the coconut milk and broth, increase the heat to medium high, once reaches a light boil, then reduce heat to medium again and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the salmon, potatoes and green beans and bring to a light simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through. Note: I like my beans al dente, so if you prefer them more cooked, add them a couple minutes earlier than the fish.
  6. Stir in the lemon juice. Serve over rice, topped with cilantro or parsley leaves. Enjoy!
  7. If cooking for two, leftovers can be enjoyed reheated the next day.

Notes

I like to serve this recipe with whole grain basmati rice. It’s simple to prepare — and perfect every time! All you need to do is put the rice in a pot of water (it’s cooked in lots of water just like potatoes), stir, then cover and turn the heat to low and simmer it for 25 minutes, then drain in a colander and allow it to stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

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Chickpea Salad with Carrots and Zucchini

Healthy, flavorful, filling and fast! There’s so much good going on here with this simple chickpea salad. The carrots and zucchini get julienned into little matchsticks, then tossed with freshly podded green peas, sun-dried tomatoes, toasted seeds and a simple roasted sesame oil dressing (oh yeah… and a little garlic – cause I think everything tastes better with a little garlic). I’d would say that with less than 30 minutes, you could call this a blitz recipe! And one that happily satisfies anyone following a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet.

Vegan Chickpea Salad with Carrots and Zucchini

Julienned vegetables made easy with the right tools

What I really love about using julienned carrots and zucchini in a salad like this is the impact it has on the taste. Texture contributes to taste, which means shape and size also influence the way your taste buds perceive food. I’m not a fan of carrots, but julienned – bring them on! And actually it’s less work than you can imagine. You can use a mandoline, which is the quickest way to get thin even slices.

If you don’t have a julienne attachment, you can also use your mandoline to produce ultrathin slices which can be stacked up and cut into skinny matchsticks. Though, razer sharp as it is, that thing scares me, even with the handguard! So for the less brave, a julienne peeler is also a great option. It’s easy enough to use and you get a similar effect by cutting those long skinny strands into matchsticks. If you don’t have either of these handy kitchen tools, then a good sharp knife, a little patience and extra time is all you need.

When time allows use dried chickpeas over canned

For this recipe I use organic canned chickpeas but if you have the foresight and time allows feel free to use dried chickpeas. First the chickpeas need to be soaked. I do this overnight in a bowl, covered with twice as much water. The next day I rinse and drain them and transfer them to a saucepan, cover with twice the amount of water and a lid. Next, bring them to a boil, remove the lid, and lower the heat and let simmer for about an 1 hour. Test to see if tender, cooking time may vary. Drain and allow to cool. Voila!
Vegan Chickpea Salad with Carrots and Zucchini

A healthy, flavorful, filling and fast chickpea salad recipe

This would be the perfect weeknight meal when you don’t have a lot of time but want something healthy and satisfying. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, which makes getting a healthy meal on table a whiz. With all those chickpeas you would expect this is enough to serve 4, but actually we devoured it as a weekend lunch for two. So if you are serving four, then plan this is an side dish along with the rest of the meal. This salad also stands up well to the test of time, so feel free to prepare it ahead or bring leftovers for lunch the next day.

Vegan Chickpea Salad with Carrots and Zucchini
5 from 1 vote
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Chickpea Salad with Zucchini and Carrot

An easy recipe for a flavorful and healthy chickpea salad with fresh vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes and aromatic seeds tossed in a roasted sesame oil dressing. Naturally vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 388 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 2 x 400 g can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small to medium carrot, julienned (cut into matchsticks)
  • 1 small zucchini julienned, cut into matchsticks
  • 7-8 packed in oil sun-dried tomato halves, drained and finely chopped (40 g)
  • 200 g fresh peas, in the pod, shelled
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good-quality red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, light toasted
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. In a salad serving bowl, add the chickpeas, carrot, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh peas and garlic. Drizzle with the roasted sesame oil and vinegar. Toss to combine. Add the toasted seeds and toss again. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
  2. Enjoy!

Notes

I use a heavy bottomed skillet to toast the seeds. No oil is needed, just a hot dry skillet. Lightly toast the sunflower seeds and sesame seeds over medium heat until aromatic and golden. Play close attention and shake the skillet frequently for even browning. Remove the seeds from the skillet immediately so they do not continue to brown.

If you aren’t following a vegan diet, this salad is also tasty with the addition of mini mozzarella balls. Leave them whole or chop them up.

I say there is no substitute for fresh peas right out of the pod. So if you can’t get them, I suggest skipping them or try substituting them with sliced sugar snap peas.

einfaches Rezept für einen gesunden Kichererbsensalat mit frischem Gemüse und getrockneten Tomaten. Dazu gibt es geröstete Körner und geröstetes Sesamöl. Das Rezept ist vegan, vegetarisch und glutenfrei.

Ein gesunder, aromatischer und reichhaltiger veganer Kichererbsensalat

Wenn Ihr unter der Woche mal wenig Zeit habt und trotzdem gesund und reichhaltig essen wollt, ist dieses Rezept genau das Richtige. Ihr braucht wie gesagt weniger als 30 Minuten und selbst der liebste Schwabe war begeistert als ich ihm den Kichererbsensalat vorgesetzt habe. Mit der Menge an Kichererbsen habt Ihr eigentlich genug für 4 Portionen. Uns hat er allerdings so gut geschmeckt, dass wir die gesamte Menge zu Zweit gegessen haben. Und wenn doch etwas übrig bleibt, könnt Ihr den Salat auch noch gut am nächsten Tag essen.

Salmon and Asparagus Tart

This savory salmon and asparagus tart is a what I would call a “blitz” recipe. It’s super easy to prepare and takes all of 35 minutes to get it on the table. Puff pastry with its buttery, flaky, and delicious flavor isn’t something I eat every day but sometimes it’s nice to seek a little satisfaction from comfort foods. Tangy crème fraîche mixed with grated lemon zest and fresh spring dill adds richness and depth of flavor that compliment salmon and green asparagus so nicely. And it’s all tastes a little indulgent.

Salmon and Asparagus Tart recipe with puff pastry, crème fraîche, fresh dill and lemon zest

Salmon and Asparagus Tart - before baking

Okay, puff pastry is a little indulgent, so if you are wanting something a little less buttery, less likely to stir up feelings of calorie counting then I am willing to bet this recipe would be just as tasty as a Flammkuchen. You can either pick up a store-bought Flammkuchen base or make your own. It’s actually pretty easy. It can be made with or without yeast. There are infinite variations, so you could experiment, but the basic ingredients are: 200 g flour, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 125 ml mineral water and a pinch of sea salt. Roll it out as thin as possible and off you go. Or treat yourself and enjoy this salmon and asparagus tart just as it is — it’s all about balance right? 🙂 PS) it takes better than it looks!

Salmon and Asparagus Tart recipe with puff pastry, crème fraîche, fresh dill and lemon zest

Lachs-Spargel-Tarte geht auch als Flammkuchen

Solltet Ihr Euch doch für Flammkuchen entscheiden, könnt Ihr entweder auch einen fertigen Teig im Supermarkt kaufen, oder Ihr macht ihn selber. Das geht ganz einfach entweder mit oder ohne Hefe. Die Grundzutaten dafür sind: 200 g Mehl, 2 EL natives Olivenöl extra, 125 ml Mineralwasser und eine Prise Meersalz. Dann rollt Ihr den Teig so dünn wie möglich aus und belegt ihn. Oder Ihr nutzt dieses Lachs-Spargel-Tarte-Rezept an einem faulen Tag und macht es einfach so wie ich es hier beschreibe. Es gibt einfach mal so Tage, an denen die Energie fehlt. Und ich verspreche Euch, dass die Tarte super lecker schmeckt.

Salmon and Asparagus Tart
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Salmon and Asparagus Tart

This easy salmon and asparagus tart is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, your next brunch or as a complementary side with a colorful mixed salad.
Course Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 468 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 250 g crème fraîche
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, from an organic lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill, plus more to garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • a generous grind of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 roll fresh puff pastry (25 x 38 cm / 275 g)
  • 500 g fresh green asparagus, trimmed
  • 300-400 g skinless salmon filet, cut into cubes (use wild salmon if available)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the crème fraîche, garlic, lemon zest, dill, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Unroll the puff pastry and place it on the parchment lined baking sheet. Prick all over with a fork, leaving a 2 cm border. Spread the crème fraîche mixture evenly inside of border.
  4. Place asparagus in a single layer on top of crème fraîche mixture. Top with the salmon pieces.
  5. Brush the top of pastry edges, asparagus, and salmon with the olive oil.
  6. Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven until the puff pastry is golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Garnish with a little fresh dill, serve warm and enjoy!

Notes

I pick up my salmon from the fish monger at my local market. I prefer wild salmon if it’s available, otherwise I buy organic salmon. Go ahead and ask, your fish monger will remove the skin from the salmon filet for you.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

This roasted vegetable pasta salad is the epitome of summer in a bowl. Simple and delicious, it’s made with fresh roasted produce from the farmers’ market — sweet red pepper, zucchini, eggplant and cherry tomatoes. The dressing is nothing more than olive oil, balsamic creme and a little lemon juice. Because the dressing is so simple, it’s important to use high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, a proper Crema con Aceto Balsamico di Modena and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Just like using fresh ingredients, quality products goes a long way in producing memorable dishes. Sun-dried tomatoes, toasted slivered almonds and fresh herbs bring it that extra mile!

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

Full of flavor and perfect for an easy summer meal

The process of roasting vegetables is simple, it brings out the sweetness, and intensifies the natural flavors.
And in my mind, this simple summer roasted vegetable pasta salad can be made two ways: 1) By roasting the vegetables in the oven, as I do in this recipe. Or… 2) heat up the BBQ and roast them there! If you have a gas grill, a BBQ grill tray and some sunshine why not cook outdoors? The BBQ method is simple: Lightly brush vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then place them on a grill pan or in a grill basket and simply grill until the vegetables are browned and tender. Remove from heat and toss with your favorite pasta. Voila!

a healthy vegan summer roasted vegetable pasta salad recipe featuring red peppers, zucchini, eggplant and cherry tomatoes in a balsamic dressing

a healthy vegan summer roasted vegetable pasta salad recipe featuring red peppers, zucchini, eggplant and cherry tomatoes in a balsamic dressing

This roasted vegetable pasta salad recipe can be made with your favorite summer vegetables.

Fresh, local produce is one of my favorite things about summer. Whether you choose a classic mediterranean ratatouille-like mix with peppers, zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes or change it up and throw in some yellow squash, mushrooms, green beans, or even asparagus. Or swap out the vegetables depending on the season. Either way, it can be enjoyed warm, at room temperature or even chilled!

vegetables for roasting

roasted vegetables

a healthy vegan summer roasted vegetable pasta salad recipe featuring red peppers, zucchini, eggplant and cherry tomatoes in a balsamic dressing

A tasty meal whether served on its own, as part of a meal, for a picnic or even leftovers.

This roasted vegetable pasta salad is perfect for an easy summer lunch or dinner. If you are serving a crowd, then add a mixed salad to the table, some crusty bread, and a bottle of your favorite red. It also travels well which makes it great for picnics, potlucks or BBQs! Even if there is only two of you, a big bowl of this pasta salad makes terrific leftovers for the next day.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
4 from 2 votes
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Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

Roasted vegetables gives this pasta salad loads of great flavor. A simple spring or summer recipe featuring roasted red pepper, zucchini, eggplant and cherry tomatoes in a light balsamic dressing. It’s a great weeknight dinner recipe and leftover taste great.
Course Pasta, Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the pasta salad:

  • 1 red bell pepper, halved, stemmed, and seeded, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes or mini roma tomatoes, cut in half
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for coating the vegetables
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 400 g whole wheat or spelt short pasta, such as penne, fusilli, or farfalle (I used spelt volanti)
  • 2-3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 10-12 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and chopped (60 g)
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • handful fresh basil leaves, chopped (plus more to garnish)
  • 50 g slivered almonds, lightly toasted

For the dressing:

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Crema con Aceto Balsamico di Modena (balsamic reduction)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the red pepper, zucchini, eggplant and cherry tomatoes on the baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil and toss to coat. You want to use just enough olive oil to lightly coat the vegetables (about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons). Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Roast in the middle of the oven until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Set the roasted vegetables aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, cook the pasta according to package instructions (until al dente). Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients together until emulsified.
  5. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl, toss with the dressing, garlic, red onion and sun-dried tomatoes until combined. Add the herbs, toasted almonds and roasted vegetables and gently toss again.
  6. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Notes

This salad is highly adaptable to suit your personal taste.

  • I imagine adding fresh mini mozzarella balls would taste great. Or for fans of salty flavors, go ahead and top it with a little crumbled feta OR to keep things vegan, add some chopped kalamata olives.
  • For meat lovers, adding a little crispy fried prosciutto is also a tasty option.

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How did you like it?

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Did you make any changes to this recipe?

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Mushroom Barley Risotto with Asparagus

Barley fans! If you haven’t already tried making risotto with pearl barley you should definitely give it a go. It’s of course a little chewier (in a good way!) than Arborio rice, but just like the classic; it has a rich and creamy texture. And with the addition of dried porcini mushrooms, fresh cremini mushrooms and spring asparagus, you can expect just as much flavor!

Asparagus adds a touch of spring to a barley risotto with mushrooms

Mushroom risotto is sort of a standard I think. And I’m a big fan. Mostly because I love the way dried porcini mushrooms add such rich flavor to a simple dish. It’s like they have some umami magic. Actually they do! The concentrated flavors of dried mushrooms are umami powerhouses! Something fresh mushrooms can’t achieve on their own. Undeniably comforting, you can enjoy a barley risotto with mushrooms (cause it’s especially good with mushrooms) all year round. You can even add some peas or spinach for a pop of color. BUT at this time of year, it’s the green asparagus that brings in some fresh spring flavors. Delicious.

Rezept für Rollgerste-Risotto mit Pilzen und Spargel, Steinpilze, brauner Champignon, Crimini-Pilze

Barley risotto made the traditional way

Just like traditional risotto, this barley risotto is made by cooking the barley slowly and gradually in broth. You begin by cooking the barley in a mixture of sautéed shallots, garlic, and mushrooms, and dry white (for flavor!) and add just add a generous ladle of hot broth to the skillet and allow the liquid to be absorbed, stirring occasionally, before adding more broth. You repeat this process until the barley is cooked and the broth is gone. Of course, there is some work involved with all that stirring, but it’s not nearly as much stirring as a traditional risotto. And if you have a bottle of wine stationed near the pot, some music playing and a maybe someone to have a chat, then you will hardly notice the time going by. Don’t worry about distractions, this barley risotto with mushrooms and asparagus is very easy to make (AND it’s a complexly flavored risotto and worth the wait!).
Rezept für Rollgerste-Risotto mit Pilzen und Spargel, Steinpilze, brauner Champignon, Crimini-Pilze
Rezept für Rollgerste-Risotto mit Pilzen und Spargel, Steinpilze, brauner Champignon, Crimini-Pilze

Mushroom Barley Risotto with Asparagus
5 from 1 vote
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Mushroom Barley Risotto with Asparagus

A recipe for a mushroom barley risotto with spring asparagus that you will love. Using pearl barley instead of risotto rice makes an easy, nutritious and filling meal.
Course Main Course
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 20 grams dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water (250 ml)
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth (750 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 small shallots, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 200 g cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/4 cup dry pearl barley (250 g)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (125 ml)
  • 500 g green asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 1/2 cm pieces
  • 1 small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 4 green onions, white parts and a little of the green thinly sliced
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • shaved Parmesan cheese, to garnish

Method

  1. In a heatproof bowl, pour 1 cup of boiling water over the dried mushrooms, and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and set aside. In a saucepan, bring the mushroom soaking liquid and broth to a simmer; reduce the heat and keep warm on the stove.
  2. Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus in large pot of boiling water. To do so, add the chopped asparagus and cook until become bright green, about 1-2 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. The asparagus should still have some snap to it but not taste raw. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. In a large deep skillet or pan, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Cook the shallot and garlic until softened (but not browned), about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add soaked mushrooms and the sliced mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, until softened.
  5. Add the barley and cook, stirring to coat, for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the white wine, cook until reduced. Then add the hot broth mixture, 1 cup (250 ml) at a time, stirring after each addition until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Continue until reaches a creamy consistency and the barley is tender but still slightly firm (al dente), about 45 minutes in total.
  6. Add the asparagus and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, until asparagus is warmed.
  7. Stir in the parsley and green onions. Season with salt (1 teaspoon or more) and pepper, to taste. Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Notes

  • I used chicken broth for this recipe, for a vegetarian version; feel free to use vegetable broth. If you are following a vegan diet, then go one step further and substitute the butter for a vegan alternative and skip the parmesan cheese as garnish.
  • I like to blanch my asparagus so I have complete control over how cooked it will be. It could however be added directly to the risotto and cooked along with the barley. You can try adding it on the last cupful of broth, the liquid will help cook the asparagus.

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Herb-Loaded Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad

Say hello to an awesome herb-loaded chickpea tabbouleh salad – my kind of pure healthy food that’s light but filling, full of vibrant flavors and colors AND it is simply delicious!! In this variation, the classic Middle Eastern salad has been upgraded with chickpeas, fresh dill, millet rather than bulgur, and an ooh so tasty cumin-paprika-cayenne dressing.

My favorite thing to do with an extra big bundle of market fresh parsley is to make a tabbouleh salad. The more the parsley the better! And yes to an extra squeeze of lemon juice! Whether it’s the classic version made with bulgur, or a low-carb version with cauliflower rice or broccoli stem “rice” (yes, broccoli makes a great low-carb grain substitute too) or my new simple and favorite version with chickpeas and millet – every variation is one to love. Speaking of millet… millet is my go-to substitute for couscous (cause tabbouleh can also be made with couscous). Millet can be using in pretty much the same way as couscous, as it has a similar texture and if you didn’t already know, since it’s a seed, it’s naturally gluten-free.

chickpea tabbouleh salad with millet, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, parsley, dill and mint

chickpea tabbouleh salad with millet, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, parsley, dill and mint

chickpea tabbouleh salad with millet, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, parsley, dill and mint

Herb-loaded chickpea tabbouleh salad — all those textures, flavors and colors!

So let’s recap – here’s what’s in this chickpea tabbouleh salad – there’s millet, chickpeas (as in the recipe title!), tomatoes, a little cucumber (literally little, a mini one), some green onions, loads of parsley, and a generous amount of dill and mint. Yes, I did say herb-loaded! For this salad, I believe there is no such thing as too much greenery, so go ahead and be heavy-handed with the herbs! Toss that all up in a super tasty lemony dressing that is really awesome thanks to cumin, sweet paprika, cayenne and a dash of honey. So good!

chickpea tabbouleh salad with millet, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, parsley, dill and mint

Gluten-free, low-carb and vegan

I just love eating big salads like these in spring and summer. Especially simple, healthy salads that just happen to be naturally gluten-free, vegan, and made from fresh good-for-you, all-natural ingredients. Here we have clean eating at its best! This salad is light, but filling enough to enjoy on its own for a healthy lunch, or you could serve it up with a little homemade tzatziki or hummus and pita bread for an extra satisfying meal.

Herb-Loaded Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad
5 from 1 vote
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Herb-Loaded Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad

A simple and healthy adaptation to a Middle Eastern classic. Recipe for a herb-loaded chickpea tabbouleh salad with millet. Naturally gluten-free and vegan. Most importantly, super delicious!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Calories 368 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup millet (100 g), cooked according to package directions
  • 1 x 400 g can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 mini cucumber, chopped (or half an English cucumber, seeded)
  • 350 g cherry tomatoes or other small vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups loosely packed parsley, finely chopped (about 3 generous handfuls)
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed mint, finely chopped (about 2 generous handfuls)
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed dill, finely chopped (about 2 generous handfuls)

For the dressing:

  • juice from 1 1/2 lemons
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey (I like to use acacia honey)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Cook millet according to package instruction (in total about 20 minutes). Remove from heat; fluff with fork. Transfer to large serving bowl; let cool. Add the chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, green onions, parsley, mint and dill.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, garlic, spices, and honey until combined. Season with salt and pepper; pour over millet and chickpea mixture and toss to coat. Serve and enjoy.

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Roasted White Asparagus with Tahini-Lemon Sauce

I adore simple, healthy recipes that pack a ton of flavor. Just like this roasted white asparagus with tahini-lemon sauce. Topped with fresh parsley and toasted pine nuts, these are flavors to fall in love with.

There are two ways I like cooking asparagus. Actually, I stand corrected… three: grilled, roasted or blanched in a very short-lived bath of boiling water. The latter, I mostly reserve for green asparagus when adding to risotto or a salad. Grilled is mostly done indoors, though we might actually spring for a little BBQ for our balcony this year. So that leaves me to mostly roasting my asparagus. Which my favorite Schwabe informed me is quite unusual… for white asparagus that is. I had no idea, I thought every German household enjoyed roasted white asparagus.

Weißer Spargel geschält von Elle Republic
Im Ofen gerösteter Spargel

A classic updated — roasted white asparagus with tahini-lemon sauce

In my experience, white asparagus it is typically served with Hollandaise sauce or melted butter. But that doesn’t really fly with me. Hollandaise really isn’t my thing. That’s why I chose to dress my white asparagus with a creamy tahini-lemon sauce. It’s a wonderful compliment to roasted asparagus and tastes amazing with fresh parsley and roasted pine nuts. So delicious, I can barely believe it.

ein einfaches Rezept für gerösteten Spargel mit Tahin-Zitronen-Soße
For this recipe I chose white asparagus, but green asparagus would also work well. At this time of year, when asparagus season is in full swing, I like to take full advantage of in-season white asparagus since it’s still rather a novelty for me. It’s something I never stumbled across it in Canada, so of course there I have a slight fascination for it. Same with black salisfy (which I like to called winter’s asparagus) — so tasty!

ein einfaches Rezept für gerösteter Spargel mit Tahin-Zitronen-Soße

Choosing from a wide selection of white asparagus

Depending on your budget, you can spend a little or a lot on white asparagus. A lot of attention is payed to the diameter (bigger is better), tightly closed tips (indicating freshness), whether they are straight or crooked, and if there is any purple coloring, which is considered a flaw. The best of course are perfectly straight and all white. But also most expensive. Whether you choose the crème de la crème or good value for money, the most important thing is that the asparagus is fresh.

Roasted White Asparagus with Tahini-Lemon Sauce
5 from 3 votes
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Roasted White Asparagus with Tahini-Lemon Sauce

This simple and delicious recipe for roasted white asparagus with tahini-lemon sauce is a great way to enjoy spring asparagus.
Course Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 157 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the roasted asparagus:

  • 750 g white asparagus, peeled and trimmed (more, if desired!)
  • ca. 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

For the tahini-lemon sauce:

  • freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (well-stirred)
  • 1 small clove of garlic minced
  • pinch of cayenne pepper to taste
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon luke warm water

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚ F / 200°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the asparagus pieces on the prepared sheet tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss until asparagus is well coasted. Place in the preheated oven and roast until asparagus is tender and lightly browning, about 25-30 minutes (cooking time depends on the thickness of the spears and how tender you like your asparagus).
  3. While the asparagus is roasting, make the tahini-lemon sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, tahini, garlic, cayenne pepper and salt. Whisk in the water until sauce becomes smooth (if needed slowly add a little more water until the sauce reaches the desired consistency).
  4. Arrange the roasted asparagus on a platter and drizzle with the tahini-lemon sauce before topping with the fresh parsley and toasted pine nuts. Serve and enjoy!

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Za’atar Roasted Carrot, Spelt and Lentil Salad

Oops I did it again. Made another salad I love. Yes, more salad love! A spelt and lentil salad with za’atar roasted carrots, some tasty herbs and toasted almonds — cause every salad needs a little crunch. The dressing is made with eastern Mediterranean spices or shall I say Middle Eastern? Nevertheless, these are three spices in my spice drawer that I really love: cumin, za’atar and sumac. If you haven’t picked up the last two, I definitely recommend them. Sumac is a long time favorite and za’atar is my new favorite for roasting vegetables. I especially enjoy za’atar with carrots since it brings me one step closer to a loving acceptance of them.

Za'atar Roasted Carrot, Spelt and Lentil Salad

No matter hard I try, carrots are not french fries

I am keen on changing my relationship with carrots. They aren’t my favorite vegetable, but I have it ingrained in my head that I need to eat them. I hear my mothers voice now “eat your carrots, they are good for your eyes”. Big fail. I was one of those kids that got their first glasses at the age of 8. How embarrassing was that? Giant glasses. And that was the start of the 80s… meaning there were no such thing as cool hipster glasses. They covered half my face, were heavy and simply horrifying. So far from “cooldom” and “awesomeocity”. That wasn’t even thinkable for another 8 years, when I finally got my first pair of contact lenses. But of course, that was still the 80s and there was nothing cool about the 80s (loads of makeup, feathered hair, spandex, neon, tassle boots, acid wash…shall I go on?). Given all that, the music was pretty good.

Fall in love with carrots with this Middle Eastern-inspired spelt and lentil salad

So with that in mind, I have been eating my carrots, probably not as much as some, but I really do try. Which is what led me to a recent raw carrot and beet slaw which I truly love and this super delicious spelt and lentil salad with za’atar roasted carrots. I think you’re going to love it too.

Zatar auf gerösteten Karotten für Orientalischer Linsensalat

Zatar geroesteten Karotten ür Orientalischer Linsensalat

Za'atar Roasted Carrot, Spelt and Lentil Salad

À la carte or as a tasty side

Since there isn’t so much green in this salad, I would suggest serving it as a side. Or go for it and serve it as a main for two. As a side, it would be great choice alongside a green salad (maybe this one?) or sautéed greens. Perhaps serve up a little bread and tzatziki, humous or baba ganoush on the side. Or how about roasted eggplant (with Za’atar of course!) or a baked sweet potato… or whatever else you just might fancy on this particular day. I enjoyed it à la carte. 😉

Za'atar Roasted Carrot, Spelt and Lentil Salad
5 from 1 vote
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Za'atar Roasted Carrot, Spelt and Lentil Salad

A simple and healthy recipe for a roasted carrot, spelt and lentil salad paired with classic middle-eastern of flavors like cumin, sumac and za'tar. So much flavor and deliciously filling!
Servings 4
Calories 337 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup dried French green lentils (lentils du Puy) (100 g)
  • 1 cup pearled spelt (175 g)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, cut in half or thirds, and cut lengthwise into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for roasting the carrots
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted (50 g)
  • handful fresh dill leaves, chopped (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

For the dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly squeezed juice from 1 large lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • generous pinch of cayenne powder, or taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F / 200°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cook the spelt and lentils according to the package directions. Set aside once done.
  3. While the lentils and spelt cooks, prepare and roast the carrots. In a medium bowl, add the carrot pieces, olive oil, za’atar and a little salt and pepper. Toss until the carrots are well coated. Spread the carrots in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, then toss them in the pan, and continue roasting them for a further 10 or so minutes (until lightly browned and tender).
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together until combined.
  5. In a large serving bowl, combine the lentils, spelt, roasted carrots, toasted almonds and herbs. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Notes

Both sumach and za’atar can be found at Turkish / Middle Eastern markets or online with trusty Amazon.

For za’atar, you could try mixing your own!

4 tablespoons sumac
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons marjoram
2 tablespoons oregano
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

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Roasted Asparagus Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Hier seht Ihr einen Spargelsalat mit Zitronen Tahin Dressing. Vielleicht finden manche, dass das eine komische Kombination ist. Aber sie funktioniert wirklich (vor allem wenn Ihr den Spargel im Ofen röstet). Das kann passieren, wenn ich einen Blick in den Kühlschrank werfe und zwei leckere Zutaten vorfinde, die ich einfach so gekauft hatte: frischen Spargel vom Markt (8 Euro für 500 g ist zwar teuer, aber ich wollte das edle Gemüse der Saison unbedingt verwenden) und jungen Bio-Spinat. Doch was macht man dann damit?

Roasted Asparagus Salad with Quinoa, Spinach and Lemon Tahini Dressing

Wie kombiniere ich pflanzliche Zutaten richtig?

Um auf leckere Kombinationen zu kommen schaue ich immer mal wieder in meine „” vegetarische Bibel“ — Das Lexikon der Aromen und Geschmackskombinationen. Dieses Buch hat mir verraten, dass Spargel und Tahin super zusammenpassen. Das macht auch Sinn, da Tahin auch gut zu Blumenkohl passt. In dem Buch gibt es eine schöne lange Liste von Aromen, die sich mit Spargel gut verstehen. Dazu auch mehrere Körner und Pseudogetreide. Deswegen findet Ihr in diesem Rezept den Superfood Superstar — Quinoa.

Die Inspiration für den Spargelsalat kam von einem Blumenkohl-Rezept

Das war ein Rezept für gerösteten Blumenkohl mit Hirse in einer Zitronen Tahin Soße. Sooo lecker! Also habe ich das mal mit weißem Spargel versucht. Oh my God, das schmeckt sensationell. Dann habe ich noch Quinoa, jungen Spinat und für die Farbe rote Zwiebel dazu gegeben. Außerdem ist Zwiebel immer noch sehr gesund. Doch eigentlich sind alle Zutaten in diesem Spargelsalat super gesund.

Spargel Geröstet für Spargelsalat

Roasted Asparagus Salad with Quinoa, Spinach and Lemon Tahini Dressing

Roasted Asparagus Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
5 from 1 vote
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Roasted Asparagus Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

A tasty roasted asparagus salad that features roasted white asparagus, tossed with tender baby spinach in a creamy tahini dressing. Naturally vegan and gluten-free. Serve as a side dish or as a light lunch for two.

Course Salad, Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 1
Autor Elle

Ingredients

To roast the asparagus:

  • 500 g white asparagus, peeled, trimmed and cut on a bias in bite-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (100 g)
  • 4 handfuls baby spinach (about 100 g), stems trimmed if needed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted (25 g)

For the tahini lemon dressing:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 60 ml
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini sesame paste
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • pinch of cayenne pepper to taste
  • sea salt to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚ F / 200°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Rinse the uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Place in a medium saucepan and cook according to package instructions, for about 15 minutes. Once most of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is light and fluffy, remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and let stand for another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, place the asparagus pieces on the prepared sheet tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss until asparagus is well coasted. Place in the preheated oven and roast until asparagus is tender and lightly browning, about 15-20 minutes (cooking time depends on the thickness of the spears. If you like your white asparagus quite tender then bake for an additional 5 minutes).
  4. While asparagus is roasting, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet and set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, tahini and garlic until well combined. Season with a pinch of cayenne and salt, to taste.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, quinoa, parsley and red onion. Add the roasted asparagus and drizzle the dressing over the salad. Toss until the salad is combined and well coated with the dressing. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and serve.
  7. Dig in and enjoy!

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Smoked Tofu Stir-Fry with Asparagus

Stir-fry is one of those things I grew up on. Okay, maybe not a smoked tofu stir-fry loaded up with spring vegetables and tasty things like garlic, ginger, Japanese rice vinegar, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil. Yes, a necessary handful of ingredients with Asian flavors that just taste awesome. My mother’s version was more the standard “beef and broccoli” type which would be considered very-far-from-the-real-thing American-style (in my case Canadian-style) made with sauce from a glass jar and a splash of soy sauce (bravo!) and it more often than not, had carrots and bean sprouts. I loved it. Mostly because of the broccoli. Yeah, I was one of those kids that loved their green vegetables. Spinach, broccoli, peas, and anything else that was green. The greener the better. And this stir-fry even with smoked tofu and mushrooms is definitely green.

Smoked Tofu Stir-Fry with Asparagus and Broccollini

A smoked tofu stir-fry pepped up with fresh spring vegetables

The one thing I love about spring is the arrival of spring greens. Wild garlic leaves (Bärlauch), asparagus and a lesser known favorite — sprouting broccoli (known as spargelkohl in Germany, which translates to asparagus cabbage). With it’s small dark greeny-purple florets, sprouting broccoli sort of resembles broccoli but is darker and leafier. The taste is similar, and its related to the cabbage family… and I guess you could say it has asparagus-like stems? Nonetheless, it’s delicious — love those greens! — and in stir-fries, you only need to cook it for a couple of minutes, which makes it the perfect partner with green asparagus. Where can you find it? Well, I’ve never seen it at my local Rewe, so try your local farmer’s market.

Smoked Tofu Stir-Fry with Asparagus

The best thing about stir-fries is that they are quick, easy and healthy

Quick and easy is exactly what motivated me to make this smoked tofu stir-fry with spring vegetables. YES…quick and easy is exactly what I need these days. Okay, so like recovering from major surgery wasn’t enough, on top I broke a tooth (on homemade popcorn — for the second time in my life! I know — DOOF! — small pleasures with high risk) and so two root canals later on this poor sad tooth, plus a very pretty and very expensive ceramic NEW crown, the tooth is still infected. So basically my patience for anything that involves “effort” has whittled away to nothing. The joy of eating has been lost to me these past weeks. So health comes first, speed… absolutely necessary.

But the best part is simple, quick meals can also taste awesome. Even when I can only chew with my right side. 🙂

4.34 from 3 votes
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Smoked Tofu Stir-Fry with Asparagus

A delicious, quick and easy dish for vegan smoked tofu stir-fry with spring asparagus, sprouting broccoli and mushrooms. The smokey flavors of the tofu together with an asian-inspired dressing make for a really tasty meal that is brought together in no time at all. Enough for 2 large portions or for serving 4 with a light appetite.
Course Main Course
Category Asian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the stir-fry:

  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • 150 g mixed mushrooms (I used a mix of king trumpet and shiitake)
  • 500 g green asparagus, trimmed and cut on a very sharp angle (on the bias) into pieces
  • 1 small bunch sprouting broccoli, spargelkohl, bottoms trimmed (alternatively use broccoli florets)
  • splash of water (ca. 1-2 tablespoons)
  • 200 g organic smoked tofu, cut into small cubes
  • handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • handful mint leaves, chopped
  • lemon or lime wedge, for serving

For the sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar (Japanese)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

For serving:

  • short grain brown rice or rice noodles (see notes)

Method

  1. Mix together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. To make the stir-fried vegetables: Heat a large, deep skillet or wok over medium-high. Add the coconut oil and mushrooms. Sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring, until slightly browned. Then add the asparagus and broccoli rabe. Cook without stirring for 1 minute, add a splash of water, cover, and steam for 3 to 5 minutes, tossing once or twice, until tender. I like my vegetables a little al dente.
  3. Add smoked tofu. Continue to cook until warm, about 1 minute.
  4. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with the fresh cilantro and mint leaves. Serve over rice (or noodles), along with a lemon or lime wedge and enjoy!

Notes

  • I like to serve this stir-fry with short grain brown rice (Rundkorn Naturreis).
  • If cooking for two, 3/4 cup (150 g) is sufficient. The rice should be cooked in double the amount of water, for about 40-45 minutes, so plan ahead. The stir-fry itself only takes about 20 minutes, including preparation, so once the rice is almost cooked start preparing the rest of the dish. If time is of the essence, than serve with quick-cooking rice noodles.

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Potato Salad with Smoked Fish

This potato salad with smoked fish was DELICIOUS! So good, that it will definitely have it’s place at our Easter table this year. If you haven’t tried smoked char, well let’s just say it tastes like trout upgraded to salmon. Smoked that is. Together with new potatoes, some fresh spring greens and a few other flavor enhancing additions (capers, green onions and radishes), the mix is tossed in the most perfect dressing to marry all those awesome flavors together. Addicting flavor that’s healthy for your body too.

Potato Salad with Smoked Fish

Smoked char elevates a simple potato salad to a new level

Char is a relative of salmon and trout, with a mild yet rich fattiness and flavor that is somewhere between the two. Smoked char has beautiful layers of smoky flavor and a taste that I think far surpasses trout or all too familiar salmon (as a Westcoast girl, I grew up on salmon!). Smoked char looks rather similar to whole smoked trout, though you can recognize the differences by the speckles of orange on its skin and its light salmon colored flesh. Ask for it at your local fish monger or head to your local farmers market. While you are there, pick up from new potatoes and tasty spring greens!

Potato salad with smoked Char

Potato salad with smoked Char

Potato salad with smoked fish

Potato salad with smoked char

Potato salad with smoked fish makes for a tasty salad or side dish

I’m pretty sure you are going to love this smoked char potato salad. We enjoyed it as a tasty lunch for two, but it also makes a fantastic side dish or starter for four. Go ahead and serve it with your favorite ciabatta or crusty bread and maybe a bowl of warming soup. Or if you enjoy a full spread like my family does at Easter then there will be a honeyed ham, grilled asparagus, a mixed salad and of course potatoes. Plus so much more!

5 from 1 vote
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Potato Salad with Smoked Fish (Char)

A delicious potato salad that is elevated to new level with tasty smoked char. Tossed in a lemon-dill-horseradish, this flavorable dish is my new spring favorite. Perfect for sunday brunch or an Easter side.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Category German
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 500 g red-skinned potatoes or other waxy potatoes
  • 200 g smoked char filet (see note below)
  • 1 tablespoon capers (in brine), drained
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives or green onions, green parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 generous handfuls purslane, stems trimmed of roots (or substitute with lamb’s lettuce)
  • 4-5 radishes trimmed and thinly sliced

For the dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. In a large pot, cover the unpeeled potatoes with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes, depending on size. Drain, let steam evaporate, cool slightly, then, using a paring knife, peel while still warm. Slice (or quarter) the peeled potatoes into a large bowl.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill, garlic, horseradish, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the smoked char, capers, chives or green onions to the bowl with the potatoes, pour over the dressing and gently toss to coat.
  4. Serve over bed of purslane, garnish with radishes and enjoy!

Notes

  • Depending on the potato, you can either peel them or leave the skin on. I peeled mine, but young potatoes with a thin skin can also be used in the salad without the hassle and effort of having to peel the skin.
  • In Germany, you can find whole smoked char, called "Saibling" at your local fish monger or farmers market. If you can’t find char, feel free to use smoked trout or ever salmon for this recipe.
  • Purslane, called Postelein or Portulak in Germany, can also be found at most farmers markets in the spring. I mostly see it available from February to May (June if we are lucky).

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Wild Garlic Risotto

This wild garlic risotto highlights everything spring to me — spring greens popping up everywhere! And the appearance of fresh seasonal ingredients such as asparagus, rhubarb and bundles of wild garlic. I usually transform these tasty garlicy, oniony greens into a pesto, but this time I wanted to give them a try in a luscious risotto. A creamy wild garlic risotto made with goat cheese, a.k.a. “chèvre”. ‘Cause I felt like going all out here. And just to make things extra special, I topped it of with a drizzle of truffle oil.

Bärlauch, Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic Risotto with Goat's Cheese
Okay, truffle oil kinda makes things a little bit restaurant meal. But I just love the taste of it when combined wild garlic and chèvre. Every bite takes you a little bit to heaven and back again. Apropos, goat cheese. My favorite Schwabe who is anti-goat’s cheese, didn’t even realise there was chèvre in this dish. Had I told him, he would never have tried it, let alone enjoy it. Half way through, I shared my dark little secret. Too late, he was already fully loving it and I’m pretty sure he still doesn’t believe me. He devoured two whole portions.

Wild Garlic Risotto with Goat's Cheese

This wild garlic risotto is a hearty meal in a bowl, but also a perfect match for grilled poultry or fish. Or even a side salad and some crusty bread. Want to enjoy even more spring flavors? Then top it off with some blanched green asparagus for even more good-for-you spring greens!

5 from 1 vote
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Wild Garlic Risotto

A beautiful and delicious spring risotto recipe that is studded with flavor from the goat's cheese and wild garlic. Naturally gluten-free. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, use vegetable broth or water instead of the chicken broth.
Course Main Course
Category Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 1 litre chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 3/4 cups arborio risotto rice (350 g)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup dry white wine (250 ml)
  • 2 large handfuls wild garlic leaves, washed and finely chopped (ca. 150 g)
  • 150 g chèvre / rindless goat cheese (I used Chavroux goat cheese)
  • truffle oil, for serving (optional)

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer over medium. Reduce the heat to low.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter medium to medium-high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and saute until soft, but not brown.
  3. Add the rice; stir for 1 minute and season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and stir until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth mixture, about 1 cup (250 ml) at a time, stirring between additions, until almost absorbed. This should take about 20 minutes for al dente risotto. Slowly adding hot broth to arborio rice helps release the starch, giving this wild garlic risotto a silky, creamy texture. The rice should not boil, so if needed reduce heat slightly.
  5. Once all broth is absorbed and the rice is creamy, add the wild garlic and stir to combine. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, then add the goat cheese. Stir until well combined.

    NOTE: The risotto should have a very creamy consistency. Free feel to add a little more butter if you would like some extra richness.

  6. Serve onto 4 plates with a drizzle of truffle oil (if using). Enjoy!

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Asparagus and Fava Bean Quinoa Salad

Along with a zingy dressing and a morsel of deliciously complex, and sophisticated prosciutto, this is a delicious asparagus and fava bean quinoa salad salad. Spanish serrano ham can also be used in its place. There are a few differences between Jamon Serrano, but it’s equally tasty.

Dicke Bohnen blanchiert und gepellt
Dicke Bohnen blanchiert und gepellt

This spring salad can easily be served as a main or as a side – you can also skip the quinoa all together and just serve the veggies alongside grilled chicken or fish. As you like. The combination of these three green vegetable – peas, asparagus and fava beans (also widely known as broad beans), plus a little Belgium endive makes for a pretty great taste-bud-flavor-party.

Fava beans are a little labor intensive, but they’re definitely worth a little extra effort to be able to enjoy them in soups, salads or pasta dishes.

When using fresh fava beans, they need to be removed from their pods, blanched, and then peeled again to remove the translucent skin of each individual bean in order to get to the tender, delicately flavored bright green fava bean. Fresh beans take a little extra work to prep, but they’re well worth the extra effort. They are deliciously sweet, slightly buttery, with a little promise of summer!

5 from 1 vote
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Asparagus and Fava Bean Quinoa Salad

An easy spring asparagus fava bean quinoa salad recipe with peas, Belgium endive, crispy shallots and prosciutto in a lemon parmesan dressing.

Course Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (200 g)
  • 2 cups water (500 ml)
  • 1 cup fresh fava beans, from about 1 lb / 500 g pods or frozen fava beans, thawed (100 g shelled)
  • 1 bunch green asparagus, trimmed (500 g)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed (alternatively use fresh peas)
  • 1 Belgium endive, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices prosciutto (or serrano ham), chopped

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan
  • juice of 1 1/2 organic lemons
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the quinoa and water to a boil over high-heat. Once cooked, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, parmesan, and lemon juice until combined. Season with salt, pepper and set aside.
  3. Shell the fresh fava beans and cook in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water (do not cook frozen beans). Allow the beans to cool for several minutes. Drain and peel; slip off the translucent skin by squeezing gently (the waxy coating will slip right off, this will not take very long). Place in a large serving bowl.
  4. Bring the water in saucepan to a boil again; add asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes, depending on size. Using tongs, transfer to colander in ice water. Drain and add, along with peas and endive, to bowl with the fava beans.
  5. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and cook shallots over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 10-12 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a second small saucepan cook the prosciutto over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes.
  7. Add quinoa to the bowl with the peas, asparagus and fava beans; pour over the dressing and toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired
  8. Top with the shallots and prosciutto and serve. Enjoy!

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Honey Rhubarb Tart with Almond-Oat Crumble (Gluten-free)

I have literally fallen in love with this wonderful honey rhubarb tart. It’s many things: moist, juicy, sweet — all the while not being overly sweet! — crumbly, gluten-free, and surprisingly easy to prepare.

Yes, spring is finally here! And of course, you can’t have spring without enjoying fresh asparagus OR this TO-DIE-FOR rhubarb tart, can you? Actually it’s more of a crumble. One with the perfect amount of sweetness to offset rhubarb’s tartness. All thanks to mild acacia honey with its sweet, floral flavor. A little extra vanilla enhances the honey’s flavor and orange zest does something quite magical to the flavor of the rhubarb. Heavenly. It took nearly all of my will power to let it cool before eating it.

As one of those people who doesn’t do dessert or sweets, it was an unexpected surprise to fall completely head over heels with this dish. I only wish I doubled the recipe and made two of them. Between me and my liebste Schwabe we gobbled this up within a 24-hour span. Yes, me, the non-dessert eater! Okay, technically I only gobbled up 1/3 of it. When I came home from work the next day only one lone piece was left. I should have baked two. But I did discover that it tastes just as good on day 2, which makes this a great make ahead dessert.
Fresh Rhubarb

Here you are baking an easy to make, from scratch, amazing rhubarb tart that also just happens to be naturally gluten-free and dairy-free / egg-free. If you want to go for a vegan version then all you need to do is substitute pure maple syrup for the honey. Maple syrup and rhubarb are also magical together. Or you can try pairing it together with naturally sweet foods – like apples and strawberry. As for rhubarb’s own natural flavor, keep in mind, the redder the stalk, the sweeter the rhubarb.

Yes, I love seasonal cooking and I can’t tell you how happy I am to see another one of spring’s gems pop up at the farmers markets once again! This rhubarb tart is truly delicious. Enjoy!

Tart crust

Honey Rhubarb Tart with Almond-Oat Crumble (Gluten-free)

Honey Rhubarb Tart with Almond-Oat Crumble (Gluten-free)

Honey Rhubarb Tart with Almond-Oat Crumble (Gluten-free)

Honey Rhubarb Tart with Almond-Oat Crumble (GF)
5 from 2 votes
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Honey Rhubarb Tart with Almond-Oat Crumble (GF)

Gluten-free rhubarb tart recipe made with honey, orange zest, vanilla with a crumble topping and crust made from ground almonds, oats and coconut oil.

Course Dessert
Category Gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 1 Tart
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 300 g rhubarb, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder
  • finely grated zest from 1 small organic orange
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder (or other starch)
  • 1/3 cup honey (80 ml)

For the crust:

  • 1 cup almond meal (100 g)
  • 3/4 cup fine cut oats (75g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil, solid (not melted) (75 g)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 190°C and grease a Ø 22 cm quiche or tart pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the fruit, vanilla powder, orange zest and arrowroot powder; toss until coated. Add the honey and toss again. Set aside.
  3. In a second bowl, add the almond meal, oats, baking powder, and salt and whisk together until combined. Add the honey and coconut oil. Use a fork to work the coconut oil into the dry ingredients until fully combined and the dough holds together when pressed.
  4. Remove about 1/2 cup of the mixture to use as the crumble topping. Set aside. Transfer the rest of the mixture to the tart pan. Press the mixture evenly into the pan. Pour the rhubarb over the crust, distributing evenly.
  5. Add the chopped almonds to the reserved crumble top and mix to combine. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the rhubarb.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes in the bottom third of the oven or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is lightly brown. IMPORTANT: At around 20 minutes, tent the tart with tinfoil to prevent it from getting too brown.
  7. Let cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

I used a ceramic quiche form (Ø 22 cm) but if you have one, use a round tart pan with a removable bottom.

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