“A few of my favourite things” in one bowl Salad
Are you humming along? This is one of my all time favourite salads! Now THAT is a big statement! This Roasted Root Vegetable Salad is filled with my favourite vegetables – parsnips, sweet potato and beetroot, roasted to bring out their best flavour, and served with some salty feta and sweet pomegranate arils. Perfect for a ladies lunch, and a sensational side dish to roasted meats. I made this for a neighbourhood get together for Christmas, and it went perfectly with the baked ham, along with a few other salads which I will post in the next few days. This salad gives the satisfaction of roasted veg without the heat that we want to avoid in a Queensland summer, but is also delicious served warm.
Start by washing and cutting the beetroot into quarters and wrapping in foil along with a clove of garlic, plenty of salt and pepper and a glug of olive oil. ( That is the sound the oil makes when it comes out of the bottle – if you want to be more specific, try measuring a tablespoon if that makes you more comfortable, but it isn’t necessary.)
Wrap into a bundle and place into a preheated moderate oven and roast for 45 minutes until tender. I find it best to place the foil package on a tray, as I have in the past tested the beetroot, pierced the foil but not noticed, and then ended up with a very messy oven. Easier to clean just one tray!
Meanwhile, cut up the parsnips and sweet potato, toss in olive oil and sprinkle with sumac and pop in the oven for 30- 35 minutes until tender and golden on the edges.
I used 4 parsnips and 2 sweet potatoes as I was aiming for a large salad, but you could reduce the amount of veg here if you were making for less people. You could also consider other vegetables to roast here, like quartered baby potatoes, pumpkin cut into chunks, capsicum or red onion cut into eighths. Flavour combinations are up to you, but aim to have vegetables that will keep their shape when cooked and cook in the same amount of time.
Once the vegetables are cooked, cool in the pan. Peel the skin of the beetroot and cut into smaller pieces if desired.
Place Spinach into a large wide salad bowl and top with the cooled vegetables, mint and feta cheese. Toss gently to combine. Now, don’t get too carried away here, as the beetroot will “bleed” into the other vegetables and colour them a delicious pink – still tasty but not as perfect!
Top with pomegranate arils. This is when you can cover with plastic wrap and pop into the fridge for later, or if serving warm, just move straight into making up the dressing of balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, pomegranate molasses and olive oil. I wish you could taste this salad right now- the earthiness of the roasted vegetables, the freshness of the mint and spinach, salty feta and the sweet tanginess of the pomegranate dressing – yum! Merry Christmas Morag – the post is just in time!
- 2-4 parsnips, curt into 3cm batons
- 1 large, or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 cm pieces
- 4 small beetroot
- 2 tbs olive oil
- ½ tsp sumac
- 120g spinach leaves
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 200g feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ pomegranate, arils removed
- 2 tbs pomegranate molasses
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Place quartered beetroot on large piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper and a crushed garlic clove and wrap into a parcel and bake for 45 minutes until tender. Cool slightly and remove skin.
- Toss parsnips and sweet potato in a tbs oil and dust with sumac , bake for 30-35 minutes until tender and golden and crisp on the edges. Cool slightly on baking try.
- Place spinach and mint leaves in a wide salad bowl. Add roasted vegetables and feta and toss gently. Add pomegranate arils, and drizzle with dressing just before serving.
- For Dressing - mix all ingredients together in a small jug. test for balance of flavour and adjust according to your taste - you should aim for a balance of tang and sweetness