It must just be this time of year, but I’ve been roasting everything in sight. From the last of the summer tomatoes (which are great in this other Simple Dinner recipe) to new season pumpkins and baby beetroots from the farmers market, I just can’t get enough. I have been making big batches of roasted vegetables every few days and using them in different dishes to make a bunch of quick and easy meals. This Roasted Vegetable Salad is a celebration of all that goodness, and one of my current favourite things.
I love the glorious transformation that takes place in the oven. How a little bit of heat and time can concentrate the flavours in a strawberry or a tomato to make it an even more intense and delicious version of itself. This salad is a work of art, and I certainly don’t mean any fussy plating! The autumnal colour palette of orange, purple and red looks so lovely and elevates it to something very special.
Served warm or at room temperature, it makes the perfect healthy dinner, with enough leftovers for lunch as well. I could eat this every single day. As we go into winter, this dish will strengthen both your body and soul – the roasted vegetables make it super comforting, but they are also packed with nutrients that will help to boost your immune system for the cold months ahead.
I roasted pumpkin, cauliflower and baby beets with a good glug of olive oil, turmeric, cumin and fennel seeds. The warm spices are perfect with the earthy sweetness of the root vegetables. I tossed through some cooked quinoa for protein to make it a more satisfying meal, and then some feta, pomegranate and micro greens for some colour and freshness. I served it with a dressing of tahini, lemon and turmeric, which can be whisked together in just a few minutes.
Of course this dish is a total blank canvas. Here are a couple of ideas for how to mix it up.
- You can use any kind of roast vegetables that you like. Maybe you prefer sweet potatoes or baby carrots? Let the seasonal ingredients available guide you.
- Serve as a delicious side for your favourite protein – chicken, steak, lamb or hot smoked salmon would all be great.
- Use goats cheese or haloumi instead of feta
- Top with chopped mint or parsley, or even a dollop of quick pesto
- Stir through some baby spinach, rocket or chopped kale
- Add a can of drained chickpeas with a drizzle of olive oil to your pan of vegetables in the last 10-15 minutes of roasting time, they will crisp up wonderfully.
- Add some roasted nuts or blanched green beans for texture
- If pomegranates aren’t in season, add a drizzle of pomegranate molasses
Roasted Vegetable Salad
Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side dish
- Half butternut pumpkin, cut into 4cm chunks
- Half cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 bunch baby beets, cut in half if large
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 50g feta, crumbled
- 1/4 pomegranate, arils removed
- Micro herbs or finely chopped mint
Turmeric & Tahini Dressing (from Bon Appetit)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/4 cup water
Preheat your oven to 170°C ( °F). Place the cut vegetables into a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin and fennel, and massage with your hands to cover evenly. Place into a large roasting dish and cook for 1 hour or until golden and cooked.
In the meantime, cook the quinoa according to packet instructions. Toss through the cooked vegetables and place in a serving dish. Crumble over the feta and scatter the pomegranate and herbs. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To make the dressing, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric and water until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. This dressing will last 4 days covered in the fridge. Serve slightly warmed with the salad.