Thursday, February 11, 2010

For Winter or Summer: Warm Vegetable Salad

The weather lately has been all over the place - hot and humid one day, rainy and windy the next.  Sounds like the slogan for a dodgy tourist resort.  Nonetheless, it is playing havoc with my meal plans because my mind says summer, but my body says 'No.... it's getting dark earlier, winter must be around the corner!'.  Yes, I'm a glass-half-empty type of person...

To prepare for the inevitable, here is a salad of roasted vegetables as a grab at summer's fading sparkle.

Warm Roast Vegetable Salad
serves 2

2 small sweet potatoes (or 1 large one), about 200g, chopped into 2cm chunks
1 red onion, cut into quarters
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tblsp olive oil
a few drops of sesame oil (optional)
80g salad leaves, eg. rocket and baby spinach
100g creamy blue cheese
30g cashews or roasted hazelnuts

¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
1 tblsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to season

1.  Place the sweet potato chunks and red onion into a baking tin.  Drizzle with olive oil and garlic and mix to coat. Sprinkle the sweet potato with a few drops of sesame oil if you like (I like).
2.  Bake in a preheated 180 deg C oven for 40 minutes, until the potato is soft and golden.
3.  Meanwhile, combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. 
4.  To serve, place some salad leaves in a bowl, top with the sweet potato and onion, drizzle with the dressing and top with pieces of blue cheese and cashews. 

After chopping the vegetables, just coat them in olive oil and garlic, then roast in the oven. Love how the sweet potato intensifies in colour after baking.

Serve with blue cheese and cashews. 
This is a simple but substantial salad, especially if you add a few bits of crispy bacon as well (not shown here, but I have been known to include the crispy, delicious bacon... mmm, bacon...)


  1. So pretty; love the colours! Simple to prepare and so nutricious.

  2. love the colours. so cheeery and pretty

  3. oh man im currently going thru a sweet potato craze and cashews! i love cashews!

  4. Looks like a great salad, fresh and wholesome in one :)

  5. Sounds very healthy and a good variety of ingredients. Personally I'm not a big fan of rocket so I'd leave that out but let me at that blue cheese! He he!

  6. I know, I hate how it's getting darker sooner. All that missing light for photographs! :( Meanwhile I love sweet potato in salads!

  7. Yes, agreed. You can't go wrong with bacon! Chuck it in- no shame. Sweet potato...boiled, fried, roasted...I'm currently hooked.

  8. The blue cheese takes this from 'mmmm tasty salad" to "argh gimme more!". Yum :)

    I must confess I had to stop myself from having sad thoughts of summer slipping away today! It is still so warm, I should enjoy it while it lasts instead of thinking ahead to impending coldness.

  9. MMM, after all my cake overloading, I highly appreciate this salad! And anything with good ol crunchy cashews is definitely a winner for me!

  10. I could go for a huge plate of this salad right now! I love sweet potatoes and do them mashed, roasted, etc. but have never thought to pair them with other veggies in a salad--looks great!

  11. Looks good I haven't bee n eating healthy all wk so maybe I should try this for dinner, looks very satisfying with the cheese and I love roasted potatoes

  12. Thanks for this. I have been trying to go healthy for quite some time now. This is a new idea for me.

  13. Fantastic idea for a salad to have blue cheese and cashews - so healthy and filling at the same time.

  14. Loving all your salad dishes!! Keep them coming. I need them to cool down :)

  15. Hi joey@FoodiePop – the colour really pops! And yes, bonus that it’s reasonably good for you...

    Hi penny aka jeroxie – colourful salads are easier to eat. Fact.

    Hi chocolatesuze -I know what you mean about cashews. I can’t stop eating them!

    Hi missklicious – the good thing about warm salads is that they’re good in cooler weather, too. Makes it easier to eat healthy!

    Hi Ladybird – I was fortunate to find some good sweet potatoes. I like straight ones because they are easier to peel!

    Hi Gummi Baby – I find it hard to have a salad of all rocket, so I used spinach as well. But as long as there’s blue cheese in there, I’ll eat it all!

    Hi Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella – I know, I hate the dark days. There’s no way I can cook and photograph before it gets dark. Such are the perils of blogging...

    Hi Adrian @ Food Rehab – I’m glad someone agrees about the bacon!

    Hi Conor @ HoldtheBeef – true, I shouldn’t be so pessimistic. I’ll try and think of sunshine, the beach, and mozzies to keep me in the mood.

    Hi vickys – hehe, if you have a salad for lunch, it means you can balance it out with cake for dinner!

    Hi Shauna from Piece of Cake – yes, sweet potato is one of those versatile veges. I love them mashed as well, they’re so ... sweet!

    Hi Betty – it’s surprising how filling this salad is, with the potato and cheese. Oh well, the green leaves are definitely good for you, though!

    Hi dining room table – you’re welcome. We can all do with something healthy now and then.

    Hi Trissa – you’ve summed it up perfectly!

    Hi Ellie – glad you approve. Salads are so easy to make, which is why I make them, hehe!