Saturday 29 March 2014

Roasted Veg & Mixed Bean Salad in Lemon Balsamic Dressing

What do you get if you cross some Portobello mushrooms, a large onion, a parsnip, half a butternut squash and 2 red peppers with an oven?....


If you combine that with some sweetcorn, mange tout and a can of mixed beans tossed with a zingy dressing you get a big bowl of tasty fresh loveliness.

Ok, I’ll admit I’m in a bit of strange mood today, but the colour, aroma and flavour of a mountainous pile of hot roasted veg makes me happy.

I decided to use up all the odds and ends from my fridge to create a tasty bean and veg salad. I love roasting the veg first to make them all soft and caramelised. It really intensifies their flavour and you get those wonderful soft sticky caramelised bits too. I roasted them with some garlic and herbs before mixing with some raw salad veg for a bit of extra crunch. This gets tossed together with a can of mixed beans and dressed in lemon zest, juice and balsamic for a zingy finish.

Fresh and oh so bright and colourful it makes me smile just to look at it. I love all the different textures and flavours. From raw and crunchy to soft and caramelised. A delicious mix of sweet, zingy, earthy, juicy, chewy and crisp. Each mouthful is slightly different depending on what your spear on your fork.

Now it’s finally getting a little sunnier its time to embrace salads again, and with only a little effort these can be much more exciting than a limp lettuce leaf and a slice of weeping cucumber. Hurrah for interesting salads!

Roasted Veg & Mixed Bean Salad in Lemon Balsamic Dressing
3 large Portobello mushrooms
2 red peppers
1 parsnip
½ butternut squash
1 large onion
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried oregano
Fresh pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Large handful mange tout
½ mugful of sweetcorn
400g tin mixed beans
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Chop the mushrooms, peppers, and onion into similar sized slices. Cut the butternut squash and parsnip into slightly smaller chunks than the other veg as they are firmer and will take longer to cook. Don’t peel the parsnip or butternut, the skins will cook and soften in the oven and provide a nice texture later on. (Plus it’s all good fibre)
Place the veg onto a large baking tray and scatter over the oregano, garlic powder and a fresh grinding of pepper. Drizzle over the 1tbsp olive oil and mix together with your hands until everything is evenly coated.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Then remove the tray and mix everything together with a spoon. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until everything is softened.
Leave to cool on the tray until lukewarm.
Scoop the roasted veg into a large bowl, making sure to scrape up any sticky caramelised bits from the base of the tray.
Slice the mange tout into diagonal strips and add to the veg along with the sweetcorn and tin of drained mixed beans.
Grate over the lemon zest, then add the juice, balsamic and extra 1tbsp olive oil. Mix everything together well.
Serve either as a main meal or as an accompaniment to other bits and pieces.
Store in the fridge and make sure you give it a mix whenever you go to eat some, to ensure the dressing doesn’t just sit in the base of the bowl.

Eat and enjoy – preferably in a nice sunny spot, but at your desk tastes good too.


Gluten Free Alchemist said...

What an amazingly vibrant and beautiful plate of food! Looks and sounds absolutely delicious. Absolutely want to make this!!!!

Johanna GGG said...

I second that - hurrah for interesting colourful tasty salads - looks great

The Caked Crusader said...

What a colourful salad - it looks so pretty!

Anonymous said...

So that's what you did with that spare veg!
Dad x

Elle said...

Oh this looks so delicious! What a wonderful blending of flavors and colors.