It is an unassailable fact that citrus fruits are perfect: as tart-sweet shreds suspended in amber and spread on toast; gently stewed with vegetables in spiced tagines; magically thickening with coconut butter to make raw key lime pie – or with eggs, butter and condensed milk for the real deal; blitzed into creamy submission in green smoothies; as sparkling slices in breakfast bowls. And of course as juice, as natural sweetener and flavour booster, poached, preserved in salt; slipped into cakes, bakes and raw makes; in raw salads, as solo snack, flavouring dressings and marinades, iced desserts. We use their skin and flesh: contrasting flavours, multiple uses.
Now add roasted to that list.
Say what? Think about it. Roasting enhances many vegetables, especially winter ones. The starches in staid roots transform from dowdy to dazzle with the flick of a (oven) switch.
And citrus fruits flourish in winter; sunshine when there ain’t sunshine. Sure, leave it the heck alone and all is well. Even in this salad. But slice and roast for even just a short spell and something magical happens. The flavour intensifies as the moisture evaporates, and what results is a chewy sweet-tart slice of citrus alchemy. Marry these disks of deliciousness with freekeh, rosemary and olives? And a slab of griddle-marked and griddle-softened Romaine?
Man oh man.
I will not be held responsible for this salad not getting made. Or the salad only half made for lack of roasted fruit. Because it’s already in your belly.
Make a double tray.
Roasted Citrus, Olive, Freekeh and Romaine Salad
This deeply satisfying salad turns into a meal with the addition of freekeh or other grains/pseudo-grains, like quinoa or couscous. To have as a take-to-work salad, shred raw greens (or just the Romaine) and pile over the citrus, olives, nuts and freekeh. Perhaps leave out the onions. 🙂
3 small unwaxed oranges/4-5 clementines, sliced into thin rounds and including the end pieces as they will help make the dressing (keep the skin on)
1 small unwaxed lemon, sliced into thin rounds – as above (thin-skinned if possible)
2 tbsp olive oil, divided use
10 dry-cure black olives, pitted (I used a mix of smoked olives in oil and dry-cure)
1 cup cracked freekeh
1 fresh sprig of rosemary (optional)
2 ½ cups water
1 head of Romaine lettuce
½ small red onion
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
handful raw pistachios
Special equipment: stovetop griddle pan (not necessary, but nice)
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a large baking tray with parchment/non-stick paper. Slick both sides of each citrus slice with a tiny bit of oil. Lay on the paper, along with the olives. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the citrus is crisping around the edges but the flesh is still soft. The slices will have shrunk with water evaporation. You can also prepare the slices as wedges if you like. You may also like to pop the pistachios onto a small tray and roast them for the last eight minutes.
2. While the citrus and olives are in the oven, prepare the freekeh by bringing to the boil the water and adding the freekeh and rosemary sprig, if using. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes (to retain some bite), fish out the rosemary, and keep the freekeh warm. You may not use all of the freekeh but it is easiest to make this amount and use the extra in another salad, as a side carb or to add to soup.
3. When you are ready to eat, slice the Romaine lettuce in half vertically, trimming just the very end. Heat a griddle pan or large heavy skillet. Brush the lettuce with a little oil and lay in the hot pan (it must be quite hot), leaving it for a few minutes to get slightly charred and wilted. Carefully turn the lettuce with tongs and cook a little longer – about one minute.
4. To assemble, spoon some freekeh onto each plate, tuck in citrus slices, olives, red onion, rosemary and pistachios. Squeeze over the citrus ‘ends’ and drizzle over the remaining olive oil. Toss just a little with a fork and serve alongside the griddled Romaine lettuce and a grinding of fresh black pepper.More freekeh from Food To Glow:
Two More Citrussy Salads:
Citrus & Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad with Pomegranate Dressing from Food To Glow
And a lovely Orange, Pistachio and Pomegranate Couscous Salad from Recipe From A PantryI’m sending this over to Emily (A Mummy Too) for her weekly share-fest, #RecipeoftheWeek. Thanks Emily!
36 thoughts on “Roasted Citrus, Olive, Freekeh and Romaine Salad”
Lovely! This looks amazing!
Wow! I need to try this! It looks amazing 🙂
Thanks Elaine. We are still getting some gorgeous citrus so I am gorging a bit on so many varieties before we have to limit ourselves to just a few kinds for the year.
Looks delish. Not sure if you have heard about the latest vegan craze but it involves making a stable fluffy alternative to egg whites using tinned chick pea water. You just drain the chickpeas from a tin and using an electric whisk, you beat the water. It starts to thicken and turns into a perfect vegan alternative to meringue. Here’s a link if you are interested. I have a friend who has made baked meringues and even macarons out of this so it’s a real BIG thing for we vegans and I thought you might like to check it out before it explodes all over the net. It started on a Facebook page and has started to spread like wildfire and promises to make a lot of baked goods possible for vegans…
Thanks so much for this crazy idea, Fran. I can’t really ‘do’ chickpeas but this would be easy enough to test on my willing/unsuspecting husband. 🙂 And, I tried to comment on your latest post in early March but it wouldn’t go through. It sounds like you are an incredibly busy bee of late. I had gone over to check on you because all had gone quiet on your blog and I was a bit worried you had fallen off a ladder or something! I’m glad that you are doing well, just super busy with studying and keeping up with your magnificent Tasmanian garden. Those pumpkins look smashing 😉
Now we have to physically attend “school” on a daily basis, our time is a very different thing to what we had before. Not a lot of time to comment on much in the mornings before I have to water the garden and walk the dogs. Life is a lot more hectic but a lot more exciting. There is a facebook page for all of the amazing recipes that people are creating out of chickpea “foam” including macaron’s and using the foam for lemon meringue pies, in mousses to lighten and the potential is to have vegan angel cakes etc. It could be used to lighten up heavy dishes as well and pretty much any place that egg whites (whipped) could be used. You can also use other bean “waters”. I reckon there will be an explosion of recipes using this technique through the food blogoverse.
This looks amazing! The colors are fabulous!
Thanks so very much. It is quite colourful for sure!
Wow, this looks gorgeous and delicious. N
looks absolutely delicious 🙂
Amazing photos. Makes me want to eat the whole thing!
Aw, thanks. It was a terrible day for light, so it is over-edited. but I’m glad you like the dark and moody look! 🙂
Reblogged this on world's life.
You’ve outdone yourself! Having some girls over and I’m going to try this with faro for lunch this week. Would faro work?
farro! spellcheck doesn’t know my diet!
Yay! I would love to be on your menu! Yes, farro (yes, spellcheck does hate it!) would be perfect. No need to buy freekeh. Quinoa is great too. I hope you and your girlfriends enjoy this winter salad. I suppose it isn’t really winter anymore in Atlanta though. 😉
This sounds delicious! I’m a big fan of roasting citrus, I love roasted lemon and chicken, but this salad sounds really amazing!
I have roasted lemons too for savoury, baked dishes (e.g., tucked in with some fish), but I’ve not ever let them be the ‘star’ of a recipe. Seems to work though!
Lovely color, appetizing to the eyes as well as to the pallet. Presentation looks great!
Thanks so much. 🙂
Now this is the way to bring serious flavor to a salad. I don’t roast citrus or romaine enough, so this is going on my list to do. Thanks for the inspiration!
I’m glad I was able to jog your memory. You do it often enough for me. 😉
I never used to be a fan of fruit in salads, but I really enjoy them now. This sounds delicious.
Beautiful, simply beautiful! You continue to amaze me with your never-ending inspiration!
You are a salad making genius Kellie 🙂 I’ve never roasted citrus before, but it looks absolutely gorgeous! Can’t wait to get my Roasted Citrus Salad on-maybe with a little cooked sorghum for a gluten-free version. Cheers!
So fresh and unique – I still haven’t used Freekeh yet! Must rectify. Hope you had a lovely weekend x
It looks fantastic and arty:-)
Favourite, must try very soon..
Oh my goodness, I could eat this every day. Beautiful.
This dish is bursting with colour, I can’t even imagine how amazing it must taste!!
This looks gorgeous and so pretty. I have never tried freekah, going to have to look out for it
Oh wow…the colours of yur photographs look spectacular! I can just about taste the oranges!