On Friday, the Soccer World Cup in South Africa will begin. I am not a big soccer fan, but when it’s World Cup I do enjoy it and get into it for those 4 weeks. As the Germans are always one of the favorites, I feel obliged to stand up for my country.
We will have friends over to watch the opening game. My husband generously let me set the menu for the late lunch/buffet meal that we will have before and during the game.
Temperatures in Dubai have reached 35-40C with high humidity, so it would be quite cruel for the BBQ master to get the grill going outside. I think I will do some salads, breads, dips and cold seafood dishes. The advantage of these is that they can be made in advance. And guests always bring dessert, don’t they?
This vegan salad is to become one of my favorites, hearty and still light, it will most probably make it onto the Friday menu. I made it for the first time today, as I needed to use up some almost forgotten veggies in the fridge. The first nicely arranged plate never got to see my camera for the picture. I chomped it down with great appetite. The flavor combination is just to die for: nutty wheat berries, light and sweet roasted vegetables, hearty red pesto and some toasted seeds for the crunch. Perfect and filling all by itself or as side dish. Good for potlucks, BBQs or In-Front-Of-The-TV meals when major sports events are happening…….
Cook the wheat berries in slightly salted water until tender and chewy, about 45 minutes to one hour. Drain and rinse with warm water. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 200C.
Peel the butternut squash. Chop squash, pepper and zucchini into bite size chunks. Transfer to baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the veggies and stir until they are coated. Season with salt. Oven-roast for 15-20 minutes.
For the red pesto, combine all ingredients in a food processor. Mix until smooth.
Stir the red pesto into the wheat berries. Make sure you don’t use too much, as the flavor is very strong and can be overpowering. Stir in the roasted veggies and sprinkle the seeds on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.