Salads are not only for summer; in fact, we have them all year round with all kinds of seasonal ingredients. So to ensure your conversion to a four seasons salad eater, we'll let you in on our favourite salad secrets:
(1) Always combine different kinds of leaves - cos for crunch, butter leaf for texture and rocket for flavour. It really makes all the difference. Is there any plate more boring that one where you're chasing around the last tasty tomato in a sea of bland iceberg lettuce...?!
(2) Add some umami! Whichever vegetables or even fruit you're using, make sure to roast some of it beforehand with plain old salt, pepper and olive oil. Really concentrates the flavour. Add some salty cheese or lightly fried tofu, or lightly splash some good quality balsamic vinegar or soy sauce over before serving.
(3) Don't forget about sour and bitter flavours! It really off-sets the sweetness of vegetables and fruit, and brings a bit of zing to your palate. Squeeze a lemon over for some acidity, add some zest for fragrance, or include a bitter tone with torn up pieces of grapefruit.
1 large pouch mixed salad greens (cos, butterleaf & rocket work well)
350g butternut, sliced
200g cherry or rosa tomatoes, on the vine
100g beetroot, thinly sliced (raw or cooked)
100g Greek sheeps milk feta, cubed
1 punnet of salad herbs & flowers
½ lemon, juice & zest
2 tbsp Apricot Kernel oil or Macadamia oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Scatter the slices of butternut onto the baking tray and sprinkle with the cinnamon, some sea salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1 tbsp Apricot Kernel or Macadamia oil and toss to coat.
Roast in the oven for 45 minutes until cooked and crispy round the edges. Remove and let cool. (Easy cheat: microwave butternut pieces in microwaveable container on high for 5 minutes beforehand to reduce roasting time.) Once cooked, place aside to cool.
Thinly sliced the beetroot (raw for crunch, or cooked if you prefer). Halve the cherry tomatoes.
Now prepare the salad. Place ¾ of the salad leaves onto a platter and top with the cooled roasted butternut.
Add the cherry tomatoes, beetroot and feta cubes. Then add the last handful of leaves.
Zest and squeeze the lemon over the salad, and drizzle with the rest of the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste
Lastly, sprinkle your herbs and flowers over the top to add sweetness and colour, and serve.