I used to be a big Salad eater, but since going to India and learning a little about Ayurveda and what foods are appropriate for me and the type of person I am, I’ve learnt that cold foods aren’t something I should be eating to much of, rather warm foods. And the truth is I feel much better and have a much better digestion now that I eat more warm foods. So what about Salad? Now that Autumn is here a warm Salad is a real treat for lunch or a light supper. This is inspired from my previous job at Ösch Noir where I first discovered pan fried Little Gem Lettuce. There it was served with Blood Orange, Tarragon and Langoustine. The pan fried Lettuce was my favourite part! I’ve also recently discovered Amy Chaplin. A very inspiring whole foods chef, who makes a lot of Vegetable and Nut based dressings, they are soooo yummy! So voila, here is my colourful autumn warming Salad.
For the Salad
1 Bunch of Carrots
2 Little Gem Lettuce or Baby Romaine Lettuce
1 Large Yellow or Green Courgette
1 Small Broccoli
Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil
For the Dressing
150 g Roasted Carrots
90 g Peanut Butter (made from 100 % Peanuts)
90 ml Water
70 ml Sunflower Oil
1 Small Garlic Clove
2 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp Salt
Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Remove the green leaves from the Carrots and lightly scrub with a vegetable brush. No need to peel them. Place the Carrots on a baking tray and season well with Salt and Pepper and several tablespoons of Olive Oil. Mix well and place in the oven for about 20 Minutes depending on the size of your Carrots. If they are particularly thick then they will need a little longer. They should be cooked right through, the skin a little crinkly but should still hold their form and be firm. In the meantime cut the Courgette lengthways in half and then in quarters. Cut out the kern part that is softer and seedy looking on each quarter. It’s mostly just water, so with that removed the Courgette is easier to fry and keep it’s bite. Cut the Broccoli into small florets, and chop the Little gem Lettuce lengthways into quarters keeping the stem in place as that will hold the leaves together.
To make the dressing, take 150 g of the roasted Carrots and roughly chop. Add all the ingredients for the dressing to a blender and mix until smooth and creamy. Check for seasoning.
Take a large frying pan, a cast iron pan works best here, but any frying pan will be OK. Heat the pan up to a high temperature. When it is hot enough add in a little Olive Oil and then place in the Gem Lettuce. As soon as the bottom sides have turned a roasted brown colour rotate each Lettuce quarter and brown on the other two sides. Season with Salt and Pepper and remove from the pan. Continue to use the frying pan for the Vegetables. Allow it to heat up again, add in a couple tablespoons of Olive Oil and then add the Courgette and Broccoli. Cook the Vegetables on a high heat. They should get a lovely roasted brown colour, be heated right though but still retain their bite! After a few minutes add in the remaining roasted Carrots. Season well with Salt and Pepper. Divide up the Gem Lettuce and Vegetables on to four plates, drizzle with a little Olive Oil and then with lots of dressing. Serve immediately.
I hope you try it!