January, the worst month of the year. The new year brings with it the realisation that not only are you broke, but you’re also probably an alcoholic and most definitely a few, if not several pounds overweight. I have found myself in this exact predicament.
In an effort to conform to the January stereotype, I’m back on salads and off chocolate, mince pies and turkey sandwiches. But that doesn’t mean I have to sigh with despair/cry myself to sleep at night at the thought of feasting on lettuce leaves dressed with lemon juice. Oh no, this salad is bad ass. Not to mention filling and healthy.
Roasting the vegetables brings out a real sweetness which marries perfectly with the balsamic, and doing so in advance means this salad can be thrown together in minutes. Convenient, although not that that matters if like me you’ll be spending the rest of the month staying in, avoiding alcohol and subsequently most socialising, while binge-watching Ryan Gosling movies.
Balsamic Roasted Winter Salad
300g seasonal squash, peeled and cut into chunks
400g Chantenay carrots, topped
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
A few slices of Parma ham
Half of an apple, cut into very thin slices
1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon of whole grain mustard
Rocket and garden cress to serve
Preheat oven to 220°c
Place the squash, carrots and onion in a large bowl, season generously with salt, and toss in 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread the vegetables out onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden and caramelised, turning occasionally.
Meanwhile to make the dressing, add a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, the fresh chives, a good glug of olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar to an empty jam jar. Season with salt and pepper and add a squeeze of honey. Shake to mix.
To assemble the salad place the roasted vegetables and the sliced apple on a bed of rocket, drape over the Parma ham and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with garden cress.