spring salad

I admit, I can be picky when it comes to food. Especially take-out food. Usually, I feel the price is too high for the quality and I end op thinking: “I can do this better myself”. But there are exceptions to the rule. Like the pizzeria around the corner. Because even though I wish it wasn’t so, I can’t fit a stone oven in my kitchen… And secondly Venkel, where Elnaz serves delicious salads. Like this bittersweet spring salad with grapefruit, rhubarb and grilled tuna. In this case, I probably won’t be able to do it better myself, but thanks to this recipe, I can give it a try! 

The sweet rhubarb and the bitter grapefruit pair up great on your plate. You can eat this salad as a light lunch or make it a fulfilling evening meal by adding amaranth, cooked in vegetable broth. Although the seeds look like grains, amaranth does not belong to the grain family. It contains no gluten and is packed with vitamin B, vitamin E and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Raw cane sugar

To reduce the sourness of the rhubarb a bit, Elnaz adds two teaspoons of raw cane sugar to the recipe. This type of sugar, called oersuiker in the Netherlands, is made from unrefined dried sugar cane juice. The juice is filtered, evaporated, and then ground into small grains. Unlike refined sugar, it still holds all natural nutrients and minerals.

Salad recipe fennel


Bittersweet spring salad

Ingredients (4 persons)

1 rhubarb stem
2 tsp raw cane sugar (or cane sugar)
1 kohlrabi
1 fennel
1 turnip
2 grapefruits
1 tbsp sesame oil
400 g grilled albacore tuna
80 g lettuce
2 tbsp black sesame seeds (roasted)
For a whole meal:
200 g amaranth
1 cube vegetable stock


Cook the amaranth 10 minutes in plenty of water. Add, for extra flavor, a cube of vegetable stock to the boiling water. Pour the cooked amaranth into a fine sieve and leave to cool in a large bowl.

Cut the rhubarb into slices and sprinkle the raw cane sugar on top and set aside. Cut the kohlrabi and fennel into thin strips (julienne) and put in a bowl. Peel the turnip, cut into cubes, and cook for about 7 minutes in salted water. Drain and let cool. Remove the skin of 1.5 grapefruit and cut into wedges. Squeeze the juice from the remaining grapefruit half above the kohlrabi and fennel. Add the rhubarb, turnip, sesame oil, and the amaranth and stir.

Heat up a grill pan and grill the tuna 1 minute on each side. Cut into slices.

Divide the lettuce over the plates. Spread the vegetables, amaranth and tuna on top, and cover with black sesame seeds.