Oh the irony! I’ve been trying to get this recipe for a truly delicious and nutritious winter salad up on the blog since I made it ages ago, and finally manage it on the first day of Spring. I’m sorry. Busyness is my excuse. That’s not much of an excuse really is it?
Anyway, I was in my lovely local greengrocers, Toscano’s, as I am almost every day, when I became somewhat obsessed with purple vegetables. Honestly, I was planning some kind of a roast vegetable salad, and I’d just popped in to get something to go with the left-over roasted sweet potato from the previous evening’s dinner. A lovely bunch of baby beetroots was soon joined by gorgeous purple carrots, red onions and then, (sharp intake of breath) early figs from Queensland! Suddenly dinner was a bit luxe, Winter Salad I do believe, and fast becoming a photo op.
OK it’s corny, but I photographically dined out on all this splendid produce. I hope you like looking at food photos, because there’s a lot of them before you get to the recipe.
Scroll on, those of you who have the patience. You will be rewarded by a recipe eventually.
- 1 bunch baby beetroots
- 1 bunch baby carrots
- 2 red onions
- 3 fresh ripe figs - failing that, I reckon blood oranges might be good
- Mixed salad leaves, enough for 4 people - I used baby kale, roquette and some kind of micro greens
- 2 tblsp pine nuts
- 2 tblsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 100g soft, mild goats cheese
- Red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- Salt flakes
- Olive oil - for roasting
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Wash and trim the beetroots and carrots, cutting any larger ones into smaller pieces.
- Peel the red onions and cut each into 8 wedges.
- Toss the prepared veg in olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar and sprinkle with salt flakes, fennel and cumin seeds in a roasting pan or sheet, ensuring that you don't crowd the pan. Use 2 if needs be. Cover the pans with foil.
- Roast in a pre-heated oven at around 220C fan forced, for 20 minutes, then remove the foil, move the veg around and roast for a further 20 minutes uncovered.
- You are aiming for brown and slightly caramelised,but it depends on your oven and how crispy you like your roasties.
- Set aside to cool.
- You could do this stage up to a day in advance.
- Toast the pine nuts and pepitas in a dry pan over medium heat, moving them about until they start to brown and become fragrant. Take care not to burn. Set aside to cool.
- Wash and trim the salad leaves and arrange on a large platter.
- Arrange the roasted vegetables on top and dot with crumbled goats cheese.
- Dress with a vinaigrette made with the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Scatter over the toasted nuts and seeds.
- Top with fresh figs cut into 8 wedges.
- Enjoy, whilst basking in the admiration of your dinner guests.
This salad was seriously so good, and healthy too. It’s always a bonus when food that’s good looking packs a punch in the health stakes. I don’t think we need to keep it just for winter, do you? Let me know if you make this.