SOMETHING FOR NOTHING : Warm Autumnal Rainbow Salad


This spectacular, vibrant dish looks like a lot of work but it really is very simple as the beautiful ingredients do all the work for you.
I was inspired to make this after one of my brisk walks in the Autumn sunshine a couple of weeks ago.



I was always one of those children who loved the nature table during my Primary school days. So to have the excuse to connect with my inner child and collect handfuls of multicoloured leaves to bring home for inspiration made me very happy!
I just couldn't believe the variety of colours in the leaves I found...and it fired me up to design a salad containing the same rainbow spectrum.


The following recipe is really a guide to inspire you. Use what you have at home but try to make the colours as varied and bright as possible.
Heap the vegetables you have available into a large bowl to gather them together and assess them. You will find that some of the vegetables are more suited to being roasted, some steamed or blanched and others left raw.
The beauty of this dish is that you can use these various cooking techniques, then combine everything to make a spectacular, warm salad or side dish-perfect served with grilled fish or meat.

This salad is 0pp/approx.220kcal according to the vegetables used in this recipe.
(Adjust kcal accordingly if you alter the variety).

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You Will Need : (Serves 5)

Any or all of the following Vegetables for roasting;

1 small butternut squash
5 red onions
Mixed baby peppers
10 small tomatoes

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Any or all of the following vegetables for steaming;

1 small cauliflower
(I used an amazing green Romanesco variety)
10 baby sweetcorn
1 small packet sugarsnap peas

*

Any or all of the following raw vegetables;

1 carrot cut into julienne strips
1 courgette cut into ribbons
5 sliced radishes
3 sliced Spring onions
Juice of 1 lime

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To serve:

1 bag rocket leaves
5 red cabbage leaves
1/4 bag mixed leaf salad
2 small cooked beetroot, diced

2 tablespoons 0% Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1-2 teaspoons beetroot juice
(from the cooked beetroot packaging)

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Halve the onions and tomatoes, dice the butternut squash and leave the baby peppers whole. (Cut the stalk off and deseed). Mist with Frylight oil and roast for approx. 40 minutes at 200C/400F/Gas6.
Leave to cool slightly before serving.


10 minutes before you wish to serve the salad, cut the cauliflower into small florets. Pop in a steamer or pan with a little water with the sugar snap peas and baby corn.
Steam for 4-5 minutes then run under plenty of cold water so that the vegetables keep their vibrant colours. I like to serve the steamed vegetables slightly warm.


Combine all the raw salad vegetables in a bowl and toss in the lime juice.


 Add the warm, blanched vegetables to the lime-drenched raw salad ingredients.


To serve, scatter rocket leaves over a large platter.


Arrange the raw red cabbage leaves in a circle. These will act as little 'dishes' to house some of the vegetables.


Start building the rainbow effect by filling the red cabbage leaves with the warm roasted vegetables. Heap most of the the blanched and raw vegetables into the centre of the platter.


Pick out a few of the remaining sugar snap peas, cauliflower, carrot and radish and add them to the roasted vegetables to build the spectrum of colours in the cabbage leaves. Add the diced beetroot at this stage.


Mix the yoghurt, vinegar and beetroot juice to make a pink dressing.


Drizzle the dressing over the salad from a teaspoon, completing your edible work of art.
Pick some specimen leaves from the bag of salad to scatter and add to the finished effect.


This makes a really impressive starter or a fabulous accompaniment to some grilled salmon, chicken kebabs or a chargrilled steak.

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Show-stoppingly spectacular!

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