We had one of B’s friends come and stay with us a few months ago, who turned out to be quite the cook! As the regular cook in the household, I was quite happy to pass over my cooks hat and have some delicious meals cooked for me.
This is one of the meals he made, and we both loved it that much that it has since become a bit of a staple in our house. It isn’t too dissimilar to our normal salads, with the exception of a few key changes. Steaming the vegetables first before baking them makes them melt-in-your-mouth soft with deliciously crispy edges. And adding finely minced garlic to the dressing – something I don’t usually do due to reservations about eating raw garlic! – added some amazing flavour to the dressing and therefore overall salad.
This is one of those salads that I think could be enjoyed year round. The roasted veggies add a touch of comfort which make it perfect for cooler days, while the salad greens and crisp pear lighten it up in the warmer weather. You could easily tweak the ingredients too to make it seasonal – I’ve given some suggestions below in the ‘Make It Your Own’ section :)
– MAKE IT YOUR OWN –
- Swap out the root veggies depending on the time of year and what’s in season where you live. Try incorporating pumpkin, squash, turnip, parsnip etc. You could also roast other non-root vegetables such as cauliflower or Brussel sprouts
- Crumbed feta or blue cheese would be amazing in this salad!
- Try using different fresh herbs for a different taste. Think coriander, basil, parsley, or fresh thyme which would all work well here
- To make this into more of a meal, stir through some cooked lentils or chick peas, or serve with a hard-boiled egg, some falafel or a veggie patty (or meat if you prefer)
- I use pepitas and walnuts, but you could substitute any nut or seed. For added flavour and crunch, lightly toast them first. If you want the salad to be nut/seed free, but still want the texture, roast some chickpeas or white beans to serve with it instead
- 400g Sweet potato (1 med)
- 1 bunch Baby carrots
- ½ pear, sliced
- ½ avocado, diced
- 10 walnut halves
- 3 Tbsp pepitas
- 1 cup salad greens, loosely packed
- ¼ cup fresh dill, loosely packed
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
- 1 Tbsp seeded mustard
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 195 C || 380 F
- Peel the sweet potato, and chop into pieces about 4cm x 4cm (1in x 1in). Wash the carrots well to remove any dirt, and chop them in half.
- Add both to a microwaveable bowl with a few spoonfuls of water. Cover with a microwave lid or plastic film, piercing some holes in the top with a fork.
- Microwave on high 6 - 7 mins, covered (note that the cooking time here will depend on the power of your microwave). The vegetables will be softened but still firm.
- Strain the veggies and allow to cool slightly, around 5 - 10 minutes. Then add to a baking tray with 3 Tbsp olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt. Toss until coated.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until the outsides just start to brown. You'll need to turn them over at about the 20 minute mark.
- To make salad dressing, combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine.
- To assemble the salad, place a layer of salad greens on a plate and then assemble the roasted vegetables on top. Scatter the pear, avocado, walnuts and pepitas over the top. Drizzle with the salad dressing, and then sprinkle the fresh dill on top.