Autumn is full of pretty colours of fallen leaves and this salad reflects that, full of gorgeous veg like squash, sprouts, turnip, red onion, carrot, aubergine and a few herbs too...this salad is a real Autumnal treat. I roasted the veg, then layered them up with some beluga lentils, rocket and a mustard vinaigrette. This salad is sophisticated, beautiful and deliciously tasty! The best thing about using beluga, or puy lentils is that they keep their shape when they're cooked, they're slightly al dente texture really makes them stand out in the salad, making them a great addition, along with the few cloves of roasted garlic, which infuse their flavour into the veg and become so creamy and delicious when roasted!
Along with a variation of colours comes a whole range of nutrients that are great for your health. The squash delivers vitamins A & C, the sprouts vitamins K, C & folate, the aubergine, fibre, copper & vitamin B1, the rocket, folic acid, Vitamins A, C and K and the lentils, iron, protein and many other vitamins and minerals. I coated the veg lightly in olive oil, herbs and salt and pepper before roasting for around 30 minutes, the small amount of oil acts as a carrier for the fat soluble vitamin A and therefore is very important in this recipe! This salad delivers a cocktail of micronutrients that are an essential part to every day life, they help your body to maintain correct functioning and are needed to thrive.
During one of my lectures at uni, we were having a discussion about who's responsibility under/over nutrition is and whilst the answers of the food industry and big corporations were put to blame, I think it's really important we don't forget about our own personal responsibility and the influence we have on one another in society. So whilst it is a very complicated range of factors which influence the nutrition status of our society, we also have to remember that most of us do have a choice or at least an influence on what we eat ourselves, as well as our friends and family, and that can help to make a positive shift to healthier diets for us all.
I made this recipe a few weeks ago, and aubergine is now on it's way out of season, but you can use any seasonal veg you like for this recipe and make it your own!
Roasted Autumn Veg & Beluga Lentil Salad | Serves: 4 | Time: 45 mins
- Large roasting tray
- Grease-proof paper
- Chopping board
- Mixing bowl
- 1 small squash
- 1 large red onion
- 1 small aubergine
- 1 turnip
- 1 large carrot
- 200g brussels sprouts
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- Sprigs fresh thyme
- 500g cooked beluga/puy lentils
- 200g rocket leaves
- 2 tsp mustard
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line a large baking sheet with grease-proof paper.
- Prep all the veg, by peeling, and deseeding the squash, peeling the carrot and removing the stalk from the brussels sprouts. Chop the veg into chunks, leaving the sprouts and garlic whole and the onion in quarters.
- Transfer the veg to the roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, rosemary and a few thyme sprigs. Mix together and spread out evenly, then roast for 30-35 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves from their skins by squeezing them gently and place back with the rest of the veg.
- Combine the ingredients for the dressing by placing in a jar or a container with a leak-proof lid and shaking.
- Mix together the veg and lentils in a large mixing bowl, then dish out the salad, first placing the rocket onto each plate. before topping with the veg mix and then drizzling with the dressing. Serve up and enjoy!
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