In the summer, I’m great at salads. With the warmer weather, it’s natural to opt for lighter goods. Every mealtime I have an urge to include tomato, fresh basil, and mozzarella. The days are long and the wine is white.
When winter arrives. all I want to cook is stew. Or big meaty dishes designed to banish the cold. It’s a time for comfort food and warmth.
The problem is – plates of pasta, riches sauces, and root vegetables quickly become stodgy. I end up lacking energy and just feeling heavy. It becomes far too tempting to just put my feet up and eat chocolate.
Whist this in no doubt, is not always a bad thing. It is when you need the energy to look after three children. It would be lovely to snuggle down with a good book, to wile away a weekend drinking port and playing chess. The problem is, I’m instead expected to bound out the house to the swimming pool. To pretend to be a shark. Only to return to provide endless entertainment for Thomas.
I have of course, mentioned our veg box subscription from Oxenfoords before. Upon seeing a lot of root veg this winter, my natural tendency has been to lean towards soup or mash. However, on reaching my tolerance for stooge – I decided to find a decent Winter Salad.
Mixed bag of Spinach, Watercress and Rocket
3 tbsp Crème fraîche
1 tbsp Horseradish Sauce
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Start off by chopping the veg into nice segments – think carrots/parsnips lengthways into six and the beetroot into manageable chunks. These go into a roasting tin with a drizzle of walnut oil and sprigs of fresh thyme. I put them in at 200 until they look done.
Whilst this is going on, I mix the crème fraîche, horseradish, mustard and lemon juice together in a ramekin. You need to add enough lemon juice to ensure that it’s a consistency that can be ‘drizzled’ over the salad. I would maybe start by only adding 1 tsp of mustard to the mix and then work according to taste – but I like two!
The broccoli gets cut into bite-sized pieces and is simply boiled. This is then mixed with the salad, ready to be topped with warm vegetables. The dressing should then be liberally drizzled over the top so that there’s enough to be mopped up by any pieces unlucky enough to miss the stream.
Whilst roasting may not be the healthiest way to prepare these vegetables – their nutritional benefit remains. Beetroot is high in immune-booting vitamin C, and has other great minerals like potassium and manganese. These help muscle, liver, kidney, and pancreas function alongside being good for your bones.
Parsnips and carrots too contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including dietary fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C. All important for digestion and building your immune system in the dark of winter.
The mix of leaves also add in a nutritional, immune-building benefit: watercress is known to provide thyroid support, rocket is high in Vitamin K (important for blood clotting and building strong bones), and spinach is of course rich in Iron.
I’d love to expand my Winter Salad repertoire – so if you have any ideas please share them on my Facebook page. Or if you wanted to keep this post for reference then you could also pin it: