his dish was an attempt to create a fairly healthy meal with vegetables and fibre that was appropriate for the days before typical salad produce become available. Be honest; most of us have salads in Summer because the produce suits it, right?
I find this time of year challenging. No, it isn't Winter. But there are still cold days, and rain and grey skies are pretty commonplace. Being motivated can be difficult. I also appear to have an almost permanent set of frozen digits from Autumn right up until late Spring. So for me, eating the same light salads from Summer is just not happening.
These early Spring salads have to have some substance, or you feel shortchanged, and you crave Macaroni cheese or something else which is heavenly but stodgy!
In this dish the "substance" is provided by some oven roasted vegetables, cooked very simply in a little olive oil, salt and honey. The honey adds sweetness to the veggies, adding to the comfort factor.
So, my intention is to bring colour, texture and goodness back into my eating. It could have included some seeds and wholegrains, which perhaps I will experiment with another time.
I hope you will give this recipe a try, and of course, I'd be delighted to hear how you get on!
Roasted vegetable salad
You will need:
Baking sheet/tray/oven proof dish
A small pan
A jam jar with lid
Roasted vegetables:6 carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthways
1 parsnip, peeled and cut in half across, then in quarters lengthways
1 pepper, cut into long slices
(optional) 100g pancetta cubes
4-6 cherry tomatoes, cut into slices
4 red radishes, cut into slices
4 handfuls salad leaf, of your choice
1-2 handful of dried fruits, whichever is your preference; raisins, sultanas, currants, cranberries etc
1 handful of mint leaves, cut into strips
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C (fan oven) or 180 deg C (no fan).
2. Place the vegetables (and pancetta if using) in an oven proof dish or baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, honey and salt, and mix well.
3. Cook the vegetables in the oven for 40 minutes overall, mixing and turning occasionally. If not brown and tender, then do extend the cooking time by 5 minutes at a time.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
5. Layer the salad leaf, tomatoes, radishes on your serving plates/bowls.
6. Top with the roasted vegetables, then sprinkle the roasted pine nuts on top, finally the mint.
7. Put all the salad dressing ingredients into a jam jar, shake well and drizzle onto the salad.
8. Serve immediately.