The weather is playing tricks in New York. One day it’s minus zero and I’m going to bed snuggling my hot water bottle and the next day I’m on my way to work peeling off the hat, scarf and Eskimo coat. It’s very confusing for my wardrobe and even more so for my stomach. Planning for meals is already complicated enough with my twelve hour work days. Don doesn’t seem to mind if he’s eating beef stew and mashed potatoes in the middle of summer- but I find the weather really wreaks havoc on my cravings. I’ll aimlessly open cupboards, the fridge and freezer trying to decide what it is I want to eat. Primarily in the winter, I lean towards hot things- which means roasting vegetables, or steaming them rather than a salad. But on these crazy weather days when you find yourself pottering around the apartment without the need for the sheep-skin lined slippers, I’m a fan of the roasted vegetable salad. Roast up any veggies with some interesting spices and toss with raw arugula or mixed greens. Well, if sweet and sour makes sense when you order Chinese, then why shouldn’t hot and cold when you put together a salad? It’s a whole lot easier than making soup and if you’re really lazy then you can do what I do and roast off a pile of veggies at the beginning of the week and then just reheat as the week goes on. They make great afternoon snacks, too.
My favourites? Roasted carrots, butternut squash, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans, tomatoes, asparagus, fennel, red onions- really, anything goes when it comes to roasting. Toss it with your greens then add a cheese and the toasted nut or crunchy addition of your choice and you have a meal rather than a side salad. My recipe today is for roasted carrots, but you could easily swap out the carrots with another favourite- this is merely happily digested suggestion. And it’s for one, because eating alone (as I so often do- sigh.) does not have to mean scrambled eggs on toast every night (though this is a favourite stand-by). If only everything in life could be so simple.
Roasted carrot salad with lemon truffle dressing
I adore roasted vegetables and incorporating them into a salad is a great way to make a green salad a touch more interesting! With blue cheese, nuts and avocado- this saiad is of the more filling variety. I think that this works exceptionally well with my lemon truffle dressing, but any old dressing will do.
Serves one, easily doubled
Diet Facts: Oh come on, it’s salad.
5 small carrots (baby carrots, but not the peeled ones in bags), scrubbed clean and tops chopped off
pinch cumin seeds
pinch chili flakes
large pinch cinnamon
drizzle of olive oil
sprinkle of toasted pine nuts (or seeds)
1/4 small fennel (or one baby fennel)
2 spring onions (scallions)
Large handful of mixed leaves
2 Tbsp crumbled blue cheese (or goats cheese)
1 Tbsp lemon truffle dressing (or other dressing)
1/ Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Toss the carrots with the spices and oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and roast for about 20 minutes, or until barely tender and lightly golden. Shake the pan after 10 minutes. For the last 2 minutes, add the pine nuts to the pan and allow to go lightly golden (keep an eye on them!)
2/ Whilst the carrots are roasting prepare the rest of your ingredients. Cut open your avocado, remove the seed and roughly chop 1/4 of it (or more). Slice the fennel as finely as you can into thin strips. Slice the scallions very thinly.
2/ Put all of your ingredients into a bowl and toss together. Serve immediately.