Saturday, 11 August 2007

Turning Winter Roasts into Salads – genius or marketing?

Oh dear! I have a bit of a blogging backlog and Thursday night seems long ago. But I wanted to blog this meal as it was a nice healthy and easy one! I roasted some veggies because I wanted to make pumpkin scones and couldn’t think what to have with them.

So had one of those evenings where I ran around the supermarket, eyeing off vegetables like fennel and eggplant that I think I should use more, but then returning to my comfort vegetables – potatoes, beetroot, zucchini and Brussels sprouts. (When I turned my nose up at Brussels sprouts in my childhood, who would have thought they would become a great comfort to me!). The biggest excitement – and the closest I came to adventurous – was finding a yellow zucchini which looked brilliant next to my green zucchini.

At home I diced the vegetables to help them cook quickly. I also gave the potatoes and beetroot a quick boil first, so I ended up with pinkish potatoes. I didn’t have time to wait for everything to go nice and crispy – possibly there was not enough oil and too much vegetables for that! By the time I had everything in the oven I didn’t have any energy left for scones – they could wait. So I decided to turn it into a sort of salad by adding salad sort of ingredients like tomato, baby spinach, yoghurt and pesto.

Winter roast veggie salad is quite trendy at the moment – I seem to see it in food magazines and web recipes quite often, even in the occasional cafe. Sometimes I struggle to understand exactly when a meal becomes a salad – sometimes it seems anything with some oil and lemon/vinegar. I have my suspicions that people call a dish a salad so it sounds more healthy but that isn’t always so with a salad depending on how oily the dressing is. But maybe I too have been brainwashed into thinking my meal would be healthier if it was called a salad, rather than just calling it roast veggies with yoghurt and pesto (which is what E thought it was)! Whatever you call it, it tasted great and there was enough left for lunch the next day. Here is what I did:

Winter Roast Vegetable Salad
Serves 2-3

5 smallish potatoes – red skinned, diced
1 medium beetroot, peeled and diced
8 Brussels sprouts, halved
2 zucchini, diced
½ red onion, sliced
2 tbsp chilli olive oil
1 tomato, diced
200g tin of chickpeas (or half a 400g tin)
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp fresh basil, torn
Handful baby spinach, roughly sliced
2 tsp pesto
2 tbsp yoghurt

Place potatoes and beetroot in a medium saucepan with an inch of cold water. Cover and bring to the boil slowly, then simmer about 5 minutes. They should be barely done – don’t worry if potato turns pink – it just adds to the colour of the dish! Drain.

Place potatoes, beetroot, sprouts, zucchini and red onion in a large roasting tray and toss with oil. Place in a very hot oven (about 230C) for 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice during this time. Mix in chickpeas and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients and serve warm. Call it a salad if you dare!

On the stereo:
The Early Years: Roxy Music


  1. Johana, I have come across roasted veg salad in the some menu, too. I dont really care much, as long as it' tastes good and warm. Your looks and sounds very delicious!

  2. thanks Anh - I think you are right - any good warm food is welcome at this time of year!

  3. And it looks beautiful - all those colours Johanna. Must be really good for you. Love the mixture of raw and baked veg.

  4. Hi there Jo

    That sounds delectable. I love roast vegies in any guise. My favourite thing is roasting pumpkin wedges with olive oil, salt and a good shake of cumin.

    And - guess what? I've joined the blogosphere! So come and visit!
    xx Nicki

  5. thanks Lucy - it did feel very healthy!

    thanks Nicki - I didn't do any pumpkin with this because I was going to do my pumpkin scones but I think roast pumpkin is one of my fave veggies to roast! Oh, and I love your site - it's looking good and I will look forward to visiting it as it grows!


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