This is my concession to salad this winter. I struggle with eating salads at this time of year. My body tells me it wants soups and stews, comfort food. Salad is not in vogue around here come January. This is probably why I shy away from New Year resolutions involving cleansing and dieting. It stands to reason that when it’s cold out your body craves warmth. This salad bridges the void between a plate of lettuce leaves and the comfort food I crave. The combination of my favourite winter vegetables with toasted almonds for crunch, goat cheese or feta for tangy flavour and dried cherries for a hint of sweetness is perfect. It’s bright and colourful too which doesn’t hurt when the sky is grey.
Inspired by Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights by Sophie Dahl.
You can use any combination of winter vegetables you like. I think beetroot would be superb in this but I didn’t have any at the time!
Serves 2 (amounts are approximate depending on the size of your vegetables)
½ celeriac head peeled and chopped in to chunks.
2 parsnips peeled and cut in to batons.
2 carrots peeled and cut in to batons.
1 shallot cut in to wedges.
1 tsp dried rosemary (optional).
Handful of flaked almonds, toasted.
Feta or hard goat cheese, crumbled.
Salad leaves (I used a mixture of lambs lettuce, baby chard and spinach).
Dried cherries (or other dried fruit)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 200°C, 400°F.
Peel and chop your vegetables. Place them in a roasting tin, sprinkle with dried rosemary if using and douse with olive oil. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes turning occasionally until golden. About five minutes before the vegetables are done add the flaked almonds to the roasting tin to toast. Then with a minute or so left add the dried cherries so they plump up a bit. I often chuck them in and turn the oven off so they just soak up the heat rather than roasting. Arrange the salad leaves on plates, top with the roasted vegetables, almonds, dried cherries and crumbled cheese. Dress and eat.
To make the dressing combine the ingredients and mix well.