There are some facts about salad that people rarely talk about… like how you can arrange all the ingredients in complex fractal patterns over their bed of greens. I didn’t do that with this salad, but what’s important is that I could have. (I am feeling some solid pangs of regret for the missed opportunity.)
Another thing I wish I learned sooner about salads is that they, like any dish, benefit from seasoning. A little salt, pepper, spices, some rich aromatic herbs (dried or even better fresh) added to the salad dressing or sprinkled on the salad itself will really bring the best out of a salad and round its flavour profile.
Here’s a salad recipe. I hope you like it. It has feta cheese in it, and dried apricots, and cherry tomatoes, because I think they’re all pretty sweet. I roasted up some sweet potatoes in oil and thyme, and tossed them in too, because sweet potatoes are delicious and the smell of thyme is just the best. Thyme for time. Time for thyme. Thyme for salad.
Time for salad.
This salad is quick and easy to prepare - excellent for a healthy lunch or light dinner.
- 75 g feta cheese, crumbled
- 12 - 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
- ¼ cucumber, thinly sliced into half-moons
- 2 scallion, sliced
- 6 dried apricots, sliced
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 cup rocket
- 6 leaves of lettuce, roughly chopped
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 1 medium sweet potato, cut into small cubes
- ½ tsp thyme
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sunflower oil
- Salt, to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon (~3 tbsp lemon juice)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (350°F). Toss sweet potatoes in olive and sunflower oil, and season with thyme and a little salt. Roast sweet potatoes for 20 - 30 minutes, until soft, and a lightly crisped and browned. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool.
- While sweet potatoes roast, divide spinach, rocket, and lettuce between two bowls or plates. Top each bowl with half the cucumber, pepper and tomatoes.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking together lemon juice, oil, honey and mustard, then seasoning to taste.
- When sweet potatoes are cool, divide them between the two bowls. Top each bowl with the crumbled feta and scallions. Drizzle half the dressing over each salad.
Looking for something a little more filling? Top the salad with grilled chicken or add some nuts or seeds.
Substitute dried apricots with another type of dried fruit. Dried figs or dates could both be excellent.