The weather is getting warmer and more spring like and I feel like eating salad again. I used to hate salad as a child, my Mum is really good cook but salad would quite often be iceberg lettuce, a tomato and some cucumber which put me off salad for some time (sorry Mum, can I still come to dinner Sunday?!). Then I started learning about the power of raw vegetables, how the living enzymes in these phytonutrients (powered by the sun) have the ability to renew your skin cells so can actually make you look younger. When you’re over 30 this starts to become a concern so I had to learn to love salads! Actually now I really do but they do have to be exciting salads or I actually think I’d rather go hungry!
I had this salad when the beetroot and squash were just out of the oven so still warm but it was just as nice cold the next day so make extra portions and save some of the dressing. It has a lemony dressing so a real citrus punch, the beetroot were roasted in a balsamic and rosemary glaze so were nice and sweet and the feta cheese adds a salty partnership.
Tip – Rather then try and peel the squash raw which can be a little tough, I cut mine in half and put it flesh side down on a baking tray with a little olive oil on the skin. Once the squash was roasted for 20 minutes the skin was easy to peel off and chop. I used a kabocha squash but you could try alternatives, butternut squash perhaps.
I used apple cider vinegar in the dressing, you could use another but I would highly recommend purchasing and consuming this vinegar on a regular basis, it has some pretty clever health benefits. Apple cider vinegar is fermented so has probiotic qualities, it has been shown to help with weight loss over long-term periods by stabilising blood sugar, rebalance acidic abnormalities and it’s good for your hair and skin so definitely worth using in your salad dressings.
- 5 beetroot
- 1 kabocha squash
- 2 little gem lettuce
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- 2 roasted or grilled chicken breasts
- 5 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- ½ feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds
- 1 cup of rocket leaves
- ½ a lemon
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- Some freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of sea salt
- Peel and chop the beetroot and put in a baking tray, coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and rosemary leaves and roast for 30 minutes
- Put the squash, halved, flesh side down in the oven with 1 tablespoon of olive oil rubbed on the skin for 20 minutes, peel and chop
- Use the little gem lettuce as the base and add the other ingredients
- For the dressing put 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a squeeze of half a lemon, pepper and sea salt in a container, I use a jam-jar and give it a really good shake and drizzle on top.
- Hope this salad inspires you!