Eating at home has it’s benefits.
Not only do we save money, but I can unleash my pent up creativity on creating delicious dishes. It truly is the best therapy after spending most of my day buried in the recommended readings I have to do for university.
But, the best part is sampling the dishes with my friends while I laugh and chat about our lives or just relax with my husband over a candlelit dinner.
In Australia, New Zealand, and most Mediterranean countries, salads are a popular dish in the summer months. Who can resist the appetising combination of glorious greens with rosy red tomatoes and fresh seafood or seared chicken, drizzled with delicious dressing?
The cold winter sends most people stocking and bulking up on delicious big roasts, steaks and sumptuous soups. But, when the weather is terrible and you spend most of your day inside on the couch, a light meal is a welcome relief.
Which leads me to today’s dish. Inspired by the delicious plethora of fresh vegetables available in Australia and New Zealand in the winter, it is a Warm Winter Salad.
Warm Winter Salad
Serves 4 – 6
1/2 Butternut Squash diced
3 diced Potatoes
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Mixed Spice
3/4 cup combined sultanas and chopped dates
2 tsp Balsamic (not the watery vinegar type – try and get the thicker, sweeter version)
1 tsp Salt
1 – 1 1/2 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
1 1/2 Broccoli heads
2 sticks of Celery
1 Sprig of Parsley
6- 8 mint leaves finely sliced
- Heat the oven to 200°C.
- Dice the potatoes, butternut squash, chop the celery and separate the Broccoli into florets.
- Place the potatoes and squash into an ovenproof roasting dish. Add the Olive oil, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and toss.
- Sprinkle with half of the salt, pepper and mixed spice.
- Cook in the oven for around 15 minutes or until the potatoes can be pierced easily with a knife.
- While they are cooking, soak the fruit mix in hot water with the remaining mixed spice. This will allow the fruit to rehydrate and make them nice and juicy.
- Place the florets in a microwave proof bowl, cover with boiling water and cook for about 3 – 5 mins (depending on the wattage of your microwave). The broccoli should be cooked through but al dente (firm to bite).
- Once the potatoes and squash are cooked, drain the broccoli, raisins, sultanas and dates and add them to the baking dish.
- Combine carefully, taste and season with extra salt or pepper. Sometimes a dash of extra balsamic or olive oil is a nice addition too.
- Chop the mint leaves and parsley finely and sprinkle over the salad.
- Serve warm.
I hope you enjoy giving this recipe a try and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
We are now into our fifth day of our Eat at home around the world challenge and I will be creating a beautiful whole roasted fish this evening.
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