Feijoa, Walnut, and Caramelised Red Onion Salad
Abundance. It’s a word I’ve been thinking about/manifesting quite a bit of late. Abundance in opportunities, abundance in life, abundance in love, abundance in business. I have read in so many places that the more you envision abundance in various areas of your life, the more likely that abundance will manifest and come true.
Speaking of abundance in the food world, there’s one wee fruit that comes front of mind right now. Feijoas. That’s right, if you’re a fellow kiwi like me, you probably have feijoas rolling off your bench, with every second guest ‘lovingly’ bringing you another bag from their tree. So… what to do with all these glorious pineapple guavas as they’re otherwise known?
The last few years I’ve made a Feijoa Crumble Cake & Feijoa Smoothie (plus video) for the blog, but this year thought, why not get them into something savoury?! So here we go – fruity feijoas, creamy crunchy walnuts, caramelised red onions, a generous dose of herbs, all drizzled with a dreamy balsamic dressing. Super sweet and super refreshing!
If you’re overseas and don’t have our beloved feijoas on hand, don’t despair – I’ve got plentiful options for you too. Sub the feijoas with fresh pears or figs – both work brilliantly with these flavours. And if you’re serving this for the man in your life, just brew a little extra brown rice on the side!
Yes, this Feijoa, Walnut + Caramelised Red Onion Salad is…
- A fabulous way to use up all those leftover fruits of the gods;
- Easily done in 30 minutes;
- The perfect light lunch, and doubles as delicious leftovers for work the next day;
- Light in calories, low in fat, and as always, 100% plant-based; and
- My new favourite way to eat feijoas – gone SAVOURY!!
So soak up some brown rice, grab a few walnuts from your cupboard, and a handful of feijoas from your/your neighbour’s tree, and give this gorgeous autumnal salad a go. Tonight’s dinner even, you’ve got this!
Making Magic with Micro Greens
To top it all off, I’ve added some gorgeous pea sprouts from Superb Herb, a new addition to their brilliant range of herbs. I love adding herbs to every dish I can (whether it be savoury or sweet), and when you’re learning to cook more plant-based food, adding herbs and spices can make it or break it in the flavour stakes. Hint: we’re removing the meat and thus the fat, blood, and salt from our meals (graphic, but true), and thus we need to replace that fat, flavour and salt with some non-animal alternatives! The fat here comes with the walnuts and dressing, the flavour gets a good kickstart from the feijoas, the salt gets added at pretty much every step of the way, and we’ve topped it all off with some delicious crunchy sweet micro pea sprouts.
Superb Herb’s “Crazy Peas”, as they call them, are their first micro green, and have a great shelf life (none of that pre-cut basil going brown in the fridge!). After snipping a few bits from around the sides and tops, then grow back quickly for 2nd use. Although these are sprouts, and thus can’t be replanted, I do normally buy 3-4 of Superb’s pots of herbs, use one in the kitchen, and plant the rest in the garden so we have an ongoing supply. But, if you’re delicate with your chopping (ie don’t take too much), you an happily just have these herbs sitting on your bench, ready for the evening meal. I love having a selection of herbs on hand, normally basil, coriander, parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and mint. But was super excited to see Superb Herb were doing a few new items that I could add to the arsenal!
Micro greens are particularly amazing to add to your diet, as research has shown they can contain up to 40 times higher levels of nutrients, vitamins, polyphenols, and antioxidants than their older, more mature elders. Microgreens are essentially the young seedlings of various plants, in this case peas, which are then harvested within a few weeks after germination. They also look fabulous on a dish, and are a great presentational tool to add some variety and crunch on top of whatever you’re cooking up!
So – get em feijoas on the ready, and let’s get this party started! I’d love to hear what you think of this one, I’m particularly fond of the combo. Feijoas, walnuts, onions and brown rice, who would have thought?! Be sure to only mix the dressing in at last moment, and only very gently, lest you wilt your precious greenery. You can always serve a little extra on the side too.
Enjoy! Happy Sunday. And for all the mamas out there, I hope you had a fabulous mother’s day and got to spend some time either with your kiddies, or your own incredible mama. Did you make her something special, or did you take her out? I’d love to hear below! I got taken out on a delicious sunny beach walk on Onetangi here in Waitangi by Tony and Mila, enjoyed this salad for lunch with them back at our Palm Beach bach, and tonight, am heading out for Thai (tofu, cashew, and vege chilli stirfry with rice… oh yes I loooove Thai) with my own mama Judes.
Whatever you have planned, may it be filled with abundant food, abundant joy, and abundant love! And maybe even an exchange of some abundant feijoas 😉
Good night, and til next week, stay happy and well!
Til next week, stay happy and well.
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Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
- 1 c brown rice soaked overnight
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Caramelised Walnuts
- 1 c walnuts soaked overnight (or 1 hr in boiling water)
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- Large pinch sea salt
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp liquid sweetener eg coconut nectar/brown rice syrup
- Large pinch sea salt
Balsamic dressing (makes 2 c, use 1/2 c)
- 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar/coconut sugar
- 1/2 shallot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp fresh herbs oregano, basil
- 1 c extra virgin olive oil
- Brown rice: Rinse with water (or soak overnight), then cook with 1 1/2-2 c of boiling water for 25 minutes (you’ll only need 1 1/2 c if you’ve soaked overnight). Turn off the heat and leave the lid on for a further 5 minutes, then add the salt, stir, and take the lid off to slightly cool while finishing the rest of the salad (you may want to pour into on a flat plate to cool quickly, so it doesn’t wilt the salad when you mix).
- Walnuts: Soak the walnuts for an hour in boiling water, or overnight in cool water. Put in a pan on low heat with coconut sugar and salt and lightly toast for 5 minutes until dry and crunchy. Set aside.
- Caramelised Onions: Add the onions, vinegar, sweetener and salt to the pan, and heat gently for around 5 minutes, until all liquid has evaporated and the onions are caramelised and soft. Set aside.
- Dressing: Blend all ingredients except the oil in a blender until smooth, then slowly add the oil while the blender is running on low to emulsify and thicken it.
- Salad: Set some of the large buttercrunch leaves down on each plate (if using). Mix the remaining greens eg rocket and sprouts with the brown rice, 3/4 of the walnuts, onions, and 1/2 c of the dressing, and split between 2 plates. Peel and quarter the feijoas and layer on top, then sprinkle with reserved walnuts, extra sprouts/herbs, and optional cashew parmesan or cashew cheese if desired.
- Make it paleo: Swap the brown rice for buckwheat.
- Make it keto: Swap the feijoa for avocado.
- Make it nut free: swap the walnuts for sunflower or watermelon seeds.
- You can sub brown rice for quinoa or buckwheat, or omit and serve the salad with some rye bread or crackers
- The dressing will thicken on refrigeration, so if you have time, ideally make the day before (or make this salad again tomorrow night with your newly thickened dressing!).
- You use whatever greens you have on hand – cos, spinach, kale, mesclun, will all work well.
- This salad make a great lunch the next day, simply keep the components separate, and toss them in a bowl just before serving (at home or work).