This warm winter salad is just so yummy! Having to look at it but not eat it while taking the photographs was a mild form of torture;). I was salivating so much and it made me so hungry. That’s one of the biggest problems with food photography; you become perpetually hungry and if the shoot goes on too long hanger kicks in! Anyway, I was so pleased when I finally did get to munch this down and it was definitely worth the wait!
It can be easy to get stuck-in-a-rut with salad dressings…oh another vinaigrette! And another! As much as I love vinaigrettes its good to expand the repertoire a bit and try new flavours and new ways to enhance a delicious salad with different textures. I have been absolutely loving tahini in dressings. It adds a creaminess and depth of flavour in addition to a load of extra vitamins and minerals. It’s just so good!
This salad is such a good meal. It is so nourishing and filling and also full of vibrancy – in taste and colour. It really does look so pretty and colourful! A good thing to make if you are having some friends around – there will be lots of ‘ohs’ and ‘has’ as people revel in how pretty a salad can be! And then more as they eat it!
As with all of my recipes, I try to make things as simple as possible. The most difficult thing about this recipe is getting the pomegranate seeds out of the pomegranate! Now if you’ve previously slaved away with a spoon and your fingers trying to prize these gorgeous seeds out for about half an hour then listen up. It’s actually very easy. When you know how it’s more fun and therapeutic than taxing! You’ll be buying pomegranates just because you want to enjoy the fun of getting the seeds out! (Okay…yea I admit that was a step too far. But maybe).
I’m sure there are different ways of doing this (please share any other methods you know!) but the way I learned is as follows…
- Cut pomegranate in half
- Hold the pomegranate, seeds facing down, over a large mixing bowl
- Use the back of a wooden spoon and hit the pomegranate skin (use a bit of elbow grease here!)
- Watch the red jewels effortlessly fall out of the pomegranate and into the bowl!
It really is pretty easy. The most difficult part is picking out some of the little bits of pith that will make their way into the bowl with the seeds and making sure you don’t hit it so hard that you rip the pomegranate to shreds. This is a right pain in the arse and makes an easy job rather tricky (yes, experience speaketh here). If you aren’t fussed about the pith then just pick out any bigger bits and go live your life.
- 1 large/2 medium sweet potato
- 4 medium carrots
- 1 pomegranate
- 250g spinach (baby leaf or annual – if using annual leaves then chop these)
- 1 can butter beans
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- Small handful basil leaves to garnish
- 3 tbsp tahini
- Juice 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- few pinches salt
- 1 tbsp water
- Place a baking tray in oven and preheat to 180 degrees
- Make the tahini maple dressing by combining all ingredients in a bowl and stirring well together. If needed add more water to get it to the right consistency (i.e. not to thick)
- Trim off the top of the carrots (where the stems attach) and cut it into batons. To do this cut the carrot into 3 equal sized pieces and then cut each piece in half lengthways and then in half again. (This means you will have 4 batons from each piece of carrot you chopped).
- Cut the sweet potato into smallish chunks (about 2cm x 2cm squares).
- Remove the tray from the oven and melt a little coconut oil in it. Toss the carrots and sweet potato into the oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes or until cooked.
- Take out the seeds from the pomegranate (as directed in blog post) and place aside.
- About 5 minutes before the vegetables have finished roasting heat up a small pan with a couple teaspoons coconut or olive oil. Add 1 clove chopped garlic and the can of butter beans and toss.
- After a couple of minutes add the spinach and remove from the heat.
- Mix the roast vegetables with the butter bean and spinach, plate up and then sprinkle over half of the pomegranates onto each plate.
- Generously drizzle the tahini dressing over, garnish with a few basil leaves and enjoy!