Lovely warm autumn salad:
Ingredients for two people:
- A couple of handfuls each of watercress and red chard leaves
- A couple of small beetroots
- One small red onion
- Baby new potatoes
- A small handful of walnuts
- Feta cheese
- Optional garlic clove or two
- Olive oil
- Sea salt and crushed black pepper
- One tsp of grainy Dijon mustard
- One tsp of good honey
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Wash the beetroots well and cut in half. Do the same with the red onion, keeping the skin on both. Place in an oven proof dish, season a little and drizzle with olive oil. Then bake in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes or so, until tender. You can also add a couple of garlic cloves keeping the papery skins on at this point too. Keep an eye on these ingredients because as the sugars in the root vegetables caramelise they can soon burn and get bitter.
- Wash the salad potatoes and cut into slices if necessary or to ensure all are equally sized. Leave the skins on. Place in a saucepan and cover with a little cold water and season with sea salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook until tender.
- Meanwhile make the dressing by combining the ingredients together. I haven't put any quantaties for the oil or vinegar as I find most recipes use too much oil to vinegar ratio for my taste. I think you just have add both little by little, mixing well with the other ingredients and taste as you go along until adjusted to suit your palate. If you have added garlic to the roasted vegetables once it's cooked you can squeeze out the lovely sweet caramelly garlic paste out of it's skin into the salad dressing and give it a really good mix.
- Assemble the salad. Place the salad leaves onto a dish and top with the roasted beetroot and onion removing the papery skin. Drain and add the potatoes.
- Crumble over some nice tangy feta cheese and a handful of walnuts.
- Then drizzle with the dressing.
You shouldn't need to add much seasoning as the feta is salty. The sweet-sour dressing makes a lovely accompaniment to a balance of peppery watercress, sweet beetroot, salty cheese with earthy nuts. Texture wise moist soft potatoes and beets work well with crunchy nuts and salad leaves and crumbly cheese, lovely when served while the vegetables are still warm...mmm...