This past weekend I met up with a friend who I hadn’t seen in eight-and-a-half years. Truly a lifetime ago. We barely spoke or emailed over these years, but did keep in touch as we could through social media. But there were definite nerves on my part as to whether we would have anything to speak about, maybe we would be too different after all this time.
Walking beside the Thames showing him the most important sights for his very short stay we spoke about things from long ago, pieces of our history I’d forgotten or he’d forgotten and we also filled in so many gaps that can’t be shared through a social media feed. It was as though no time had passed and there we were reunited thousands of miles from where we once met as the two individuals whose lives collided for a brief time.
Last night as we met up once more before he leaves off on a European adventure we joked as we parted, that we would see each in another decade and who knows what we’ll be like, I’d like to think we’ll be the same, but with more adventures to tell of. More stories to share and more normalcy of life avoided, we’ve succeeded pretty well so far.
Today’s recipe is for those times you just want simple ingredients with no fluff to preparation and very little effort to just get it on the table and this recipe is it! In fact, I’ve been making this salad for years each winter as a way to eat my greens with some warm, slightly caramelized root vegetables. The feta adds a salt to the salad and accompanies so perfectly their hearty flavors.
I know spring is just around the corner, but in the shivering air of last evening there was the reminder that we still need those layers and those hearty, filling meals to get us through it for just a little longer. This salad is seasonal without being too heavy.
Roast Vegetable Salad
1/2 medium butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
1/2 pound/250g of heirloom carrots, peeled, ends removed, roughly chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 pound/250g baby spinach
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350F.
Place the pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato and onion in a large baking tray and sprinkle olive oil and a little seasoning over. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, stirring to bake evenly every 10 minutes.
Add in the garlic and stir to coat the remaining oil and seasoning. Bake for a further 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash the spinach and place on your serving plate.
Remove the baked vegetables from the oven and scatter over the spinach and finish with the feta.