Warm Spring Salad

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For me, Spring is the most exciting season of the year when it comes to food. The weather can be warm and tempt lazy days in the garden and herald the first BBQs of the year however so quickly it can turn and leave you soaked with rain or chilled with a bitter frost. The produce available is also affected by the weather- it may not yet be warm enough for more delicate vegetables and fruit however early veg can take advantage and prosper. Toward the end of spring, we can see salad leaves thriving, beetroot growing and even early varieties of onion. This warm and colourful salad is perfect served with simple grilled meats or Halloumi on a BBQ or as an alternative accompaniment to a Sunday roast on cooler days.

Note: I often add a pack of microwavable lentils to this salad as I will often have it as the sole accompaniment in a dish without the need for a further carbohydrate or as a midweek lunch (I think it works particularly well with grilled or pan-fried salmon marinated in and blend of ras-al-hanout, smoked paprika, cumin and lemon juice!). If however, you want this as a simple side dish then you could leave them out and it would leave you with a lighter dish.

Warm Spring Salad
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 white onions, peeled and quartered
  2. 2 bell peppers, whole
  3. 3 beetroot, fresh
  4. 1 handful asparagus
  5. 1 handful tender stem broccoli
  6. 1 handful mangetout
  7. 2 oranges
  8. 1/2 cucumber
  9. 10-15 baby tomatoes
  10. 1 stalk of rosemary
  11. 1 pack of microwavable puy lentils (optional)
  12. 1 tsp honey
  13. 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  14. olive oil
  15. salt
  16. pepper
For the salad
  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C/gas6
  2. Put the beetroot, peppers and onions into a roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil and add a pinch of salt and scatter the rosemary over the top. give the pan a good shake and put into the middle of the oven.
  3. After 30 minutes also throw in the asparagus, broccoli and tomatoes.
  4. If you wish to add the lentils then pop these in the microwave to heat. This makes it either a complete lunch on its own or a sole accompaniment to meat, fish, cheese etc in place of a carbohydrate.
  5. Slice the cucumber lengthways and use a spoon to remove the seeds before chopping into chunks.
  6. Remove the veg from the oven after a total of 40 minutes. Use a pair of (clean) kitchen rubber gloves and some kitchen paper to handle to beetroot- chop of the stalk and root and rub the skin off. Chop this into chunks along with the pepper (discard the seeds) and onion and add to the salad along with the rest of the warm veg.
  7. Use a knife to remove the skin from one of the oranges and slice out the segments leaving the connecting pith bits and add these into the salad with the cucumber.
For the dressing
  1. Squeeze the juice of the remaining orange into a bowl and add the honey, olive oil, white wine vinegar and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until well blended. Taste and add a little more salt or pepper if needed.
  2. Pour over the salad, toss well and serve.
Top-tip
  1. This great dish is incredibly versatile but goes particularly well with simply grilled foods. I have also had it with halloumi where the citrus notes work well with the salty cheese.
  2. I often make this as a lunch where the lentils give all the energy and protein you need.
Benefits
  1. Lots of colours in a dish mean a good variety of vitamins, of which this dish has plenty.
  2. The beetroot, broccoli and lentils are great sources of iron.
  3. The lentils are a brilliant source of protein
Working.Family.Food http://www.workingfamilyfood.com/
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