Warm Strawberry and Beetroot Salad with Grains and Greens

Warm Strawberry and Beetroot Salad with Grains and Greens

Serves 4-6 as a main course

½ cup burghul (cracked wheat)*
½ cup pearl barley*
1 can black beans, drained*
1 can lentils or chick peas, drained and rinsed*
½ red onion, thinly sliced
250g Queensland strawberries, quartered
¼ cup each slivered almonds and pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
4 cooked baby beets, diced
1 cup rocket leaves
1 bunch Tuscan kale, finely shredded
Cooked BBQ chicken, shredded
Pomegranate arils

2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Sprinkle of salt flakes

Cook burghul and barley separately in boiling water until al dente, see packet recommendations for times. Drain and set aside to cool a little.
Place all remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Whisk the dressing, pour over the salad and toss gently again to combine.
Serve warm or cold with crusty sourdough bread.

• *Any combination of beans, lentils, pulses and wild rices works well in this salad
• Hazelnuts and walnuts are a great switch-out for almonds & pine nuts
• For a tangy twist on the dressing, replace the lemon juice with passionfruit juice

Queensland Strawberry Growers: "Help Make September Strawesome"

A 'perfect storm' of weather conditions in Queensland's key growing regions has meant there is now an abundance of fresh strawberries available for Aussies to enjoy. 

A series of unseasonably warm, dry and sunny days followed by cool crisp nights has seen strawberries flood supermarket shelves as prices plummet.

• Combined July and August rainfall 39.6mm vs. 107.6mm (long-term average)
• Since 8 July – only 10.4mm of rain total
• July average daily maximum temps >1C above long-term averages, August average daily temps 0.6C above long-term averages

This data indicates warmer than average days, with 2/3 less rainfall than usual resulting in large quantities of high-quality berries available.

Growers are expecting one million punnets per day to leave farms day over the next three weeks. That's seven million punnets a week – laid end to end, that's enough to stretch to the moon and back.

While consumers will be cheering, strawberry growers are asking Australians to pop an extra punnet or two in their trolleys to help move this short shelf life fruit and show their support for the industry.

"The strawberries we're supplying are sweet, juicy and in abundance, but the cooler weather down south has seen demand drop. Strawberries are so versatile and also freeze well – take advantage of the price and try a strawberry salsa to accompany meat or fish, or add them to your morning smashed avo with a drizzle of balsamic glaze," said South East Queensland strawberry grower Laura Wells.

"Strawberries are also packed with vitamin C and folate to help your immunity so they're the perfect snack for your family."