It’s safe to say, I’m a salad girl.
Perhaps it was ingrained in me when I was young – when a big bowl of salad would make an appearance on the family dinner table every other night. Although, on reflection, those salads were pretty standard and definitely reflective of the time. No mesculin or interesting tomato varieties – just plain ol’ icerberg lettuce, white onion, carrot and cucumber, topped with sliced cheddar cheese and drizzled with, most probably, French dressing. Out of a bottle.
Then came high school, when I would usually spend my lunch money on a freshly made salad roll (being sure to ask for ‘no beetroot’ as it made the roll soggy by lunchtime).
Flash-forward to uni, where my love of salad continued. In fact, with a ‘poor’ uni student budget meaning a lot of my meals consisted of hot chips and beer from the uni pub after class, I really looked forward to the treat of a warm chicken salad a few times a week from a favourite local cafe.
Over the years, my salads have become a little fancier. The local greengrocer stocks a good range of interesting salad leaves, tomato varieties and I should probably take out shares in avocados given the amount I consume! And while cheddar cheese doesn’t normally feature in my salads any more, other cheeses, such as feta, sure do!
I’ve heard that famous catch-cry “you don’t win friends with salad”, but l I beg to differ. For a salad that graced our dinner table over the weekend, when we had some dear friends around for a BBQ, did not disappoint. And I’m pretty sure that our friendship remains intact. Despite salad, a roasted pumpkin and feta salad in fact, being served.
I could give you the recipe – but there really is not a lot to it. Simply slices of jap pumpkin and red onion, drizzled with olive oil and baked for 30 minutes at 180C. Then drizzled again – this time with balsamic vinegar – and roasted for a further 20 minutes until golden.
Combined with a cup of cooked quinoa (I used white as that was what I had), a pile of mesculin and a cup of various mini tomatoes which I had halved. Finished with a liberal amount of crumbled feta and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Yes I think this love affair will be a long one!
What about you? Are you a salad fan?