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Hearty Autumn Winter Salad with Delicata squash, Black Rice and Pickled Vegetables

Gone are the days of insipid watery salads! With every salad we make we try to embrace all the colours of the rainbow and always have a lot of crunch and variety of textured. We used seasonal Delicata squash which is intensely creamy and sweet right now. I love the deep orange flesh, so appetising and a wonderfully autumnal colour.

We are lucky enough to be able to source carrots of many different colours locally so we went for a rainbow effect here! Adding grains makes a world of difference as well and helps boost the nutritional value of any salad. Candied and golden beetroots again, help add colour and interest and are an interesting alternative to standard purple beets.

I love buckwheat not only for it’s lovely nutty and crunchy taste and mouthfeel but because it’s rich in protein and fibre and happens to also be gluten-free. Black rice has always been my favourite rice and it has a much higher protein content than other types of rice, it’s also rich in antioxidants and a good source of iron- all important stuff for us plant-based people!

This salad is well worth the small investment in time and would be fit to adorn any festive dinner party! It would be a great accompaniment to any Dovebrook main meal and could definitely serve up to 6 people comfortably as a side. What I love about salads is their endless versatility- so for this one you could easily swap out the buckwheat and black rice for any other grains you have available- I’m sure barley would work nicely, or quinoa, and if you wanted to make it even more filling you could add some butterbeans or any other pulse you have in your store cupboard. Lots of other root vegetables or brassicas could work in here as well- such as Jerusalem artichoke, cauliflower, pick whatever fits the season best and go wild!

We'll be giving all of our newsletter subscribers our free Veganuary PDF download with some more salad recipes and other quick and easy lunch and snack ideas. Be sure to join our mailing list and try taking on our Veganuary challenge, after all, we are doing our best to make it easy for you!

Pickling is a lovely way to preserve your vegetables and add more interest to a salad. I’ve always loved vinegar so I am definitely biased towards pickles and fermented foods! The kohlrabi carrots and beets would all be lovely just plain raw and grated into the salad if you don’t have time to pickle them and don't happen to own a mandolin! We added pomegranate seeds as a lovely burst of freshness to finish it off but also because they are seasonal and so tasting their juiciest best right now!

Salad Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

100g cooked Buckwheat

100g cooked Black Rice

150 Purple Sprouting broccoli- blanched for 30 seconds

250g Roasted celeriac cut into bite size chunks

600g Delicata squash sliced skin on or off (whatever your preference)- roasted with 1 tsp freshly ground coriander and fennel seeds, a crumbled cinnamon stick and a pinch of Aleppo chilli flakes (or whatever you have to hand)

250 g Candied, golden or plain beetroot- whatever you have to hand- mandolined and pickled overnight*

200g carrot- using a vegetable peeler peeled into ribbons and pickled overnight*

One Kohlrabi cut into matchsticks and pickled*

A couple of mandolined bits of kohlrabi as well

250g of Kale (leaves picked from the stems which can be discarded) Red Russian variety and/or green, massaged for 1 minute until nice and soft with 1 tbsp of olive oil, juice of one lemon and ½ tsp fine sea salt

One small red onion, diced

Handful of toasted pumpkin seeds

Pomegranate seeds for garnish

 *Pickle Brine for the carrots, beetroot and kohlrabi

250ml apple cider vinegar
250ml water (or more if needed)
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
½ Tbsp. fine grain sea salt
small knob of ginger (about 10g), peeled and sliced

Place the carrot ribbons, mandolined beets and kohlrabi matchsticks into a 1 litre glass container.
2. In a measuring cup combine the vinegar, water, maple syrup, salt and ginger, and stir to dissolve the salt. Pour over the vegetables and top up with more water as needed to cover them completely. Place in the fridge for 24 hours and enjoy the next day.

We are pretty obsessed with tahini in our household so I usually go with a dressing like this for most salads but I’m sure a more traditional grainy mustard dressing with white wine vinegar and some lovely fresh herbs would go equally well.

Tahini Dressing

  • 6 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • roasted cloves of garlic , minced or crushed
  • Juice of 3 limes or lemons
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Salt to taste