Saturday, December 11, 2010

Salad days

Unlike Florence Welch's Dog Days, the Salad Days are not over, not in my house anyhow. I treated myself to the Cornucopia cookbook in September, just in time for stew-and-casserole season. It's a pricey tome, weighing in at around €40, but it pays for itself in wallet-friendly recipes. For starters, it's a vegetarian cookbook, so cutting out the price of meat is an instant money saver. And then the wealth of recipes that use pulses is a boon for a food lover on a budget - making friends with beans and lentils is a must for anyone whose grocery bills keep them awake at night.

Anyhow, I've been having lunch dilemmas of late, and I'm on a constant mission to ratchet up the vegetable count in my diet, so I had a little flick through the other day to find a tasty, filling salad full of veggie virtue. Didn't take long, obviously - I spied a colourful roasted veg number and was instantly hypnotised by the pretty picture. I was also attracted by the presence of fennel, as I had seen tons of the anisey loveliness in the supermarket the day before. But when I went back to buy ingredients for this salad, do you think there was any fennel there? No, course not. I replaced it with sweet potato, but I'm itching to try it again with fennel - the licoricey sweetness of it must be amazing with the garlicy lemony dressing.

The show must go on - veggies at the ready:

Chopped and poised for action:

Aaaah, nothing like the sweet gleamingness of roasted veggies:

The roast garlic was mashed up with lemon juice and olive oil to make the dressing.

Into the roasted veggies went a tin of butter beans - there are those who may do the whole soaking...zzzzz...sorry, just nodded off there thinking about cooking beans from scratch.

The final touch is some crunchy fresh rocket leaves. Pretty as a picture.

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