Extract from The Scandikitchen by Bronte Aurell, Published by Ryland Peters and Small.
Our friend Kobi Ruzicka came up with this salad and it has been a bestseller at the café. I think it perfectly marries the bite of the grain with the sweetness of the potatoes and the sharpness of the onion and tarragon. Although not a traditional Scandinavian salad, it has all the flavours of one. Serve slightly warm or cold.
100 g dry rye grains
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4–6 sweet potatoes (depending on size)
1 bunch fresh tarragon
1 bunch spring onions, outer layer removed and sliced diagonally
200 g feta cheese
If soaking the grains overnight (I’d recommend this if you have time as it allows for a more even texture throughout), place them in double the amount of water.
The next day, drain and rinse the grains. Place in a large saucepan with a good pinch of salt and boil for approximately 20–22 minutes, or until tender. If you haven’t pre-soaked the grains, cook for around 40 minutes. Drain and allow to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) Gas 3.
Wash and cut the sweet potatoes into bite- sized pieces (leave the skin on), and toss with oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven, turning occasionally, for around 20 minutes or until cooked through.
Separate the leaves of the tarragon from the stalks (which you can discard) and place in a large serving bowl. Add the spring onions. With your fingers, lightly crumble the feta into the same bowl and set aside.
When the sweet potato is cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, then add to a serving bowl. Add the cooled rye grains and fold everything together carefully so as not to break up the potatoes. Adjust the seasoning, and add more olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar, if needed.
Tips: Cooked grains keep for a few days in the fridge and can be made ahead. You can easily make this salad with spelt grain or other grains instead of rye, but adjust the cooking time accordingly.
The Scandi Kitchen by Bronte Aurell
Published by Ryland Peter & Small
Photography by Peter Cassidy