This salad was born with the New Year. On the 2nd of January, after many days of excess, I fancied a lunch that was fresh and vibrant, yet still warming. With little more than carrots and a few tins in the cupboard, my expectations were not high. Yet this recipe goes to show that gentle spicing and a good dressing can transform even the most humble vegetables into a satisfying meal, rather than just a side dish.
For me, a salad must always contain more than leaves. I need beans, pulses or grains to keep me going until the next meal. Here, plump, creamy butter beans are added to the vegetables, oil and spices for the last ten minutes until they become burnished and juicy. To build the final layers of flavour, toss with peppery rocket and the sweet-sharp pomegranate dressing.
When you're ready to plate up, tumble the vegetables and beans in a messy pile, before embellishing with sesame seeds and a touch of tahini. Slice up a loaf of sourdough to serve alongside and soak up the juices.
Serves 3-4 people.
For the salad:
- 500g Chantenay carrots
- 500g cherry tomatoes
- 2 tins butter beans
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 60g rocket
For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp honey
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- Preheat your oven to 200º C
- Begin by preparing the vegetables. Wash the carrots and cut them in half lenghtways. Half the cherry tomatoes.
- Set a small pan over a low-medium heat. Once hot, toast the coriander and cumin seeds for around a minute, or until they smell aromatic. Leave to cool slightly before crushing in a pestle and mortar.
- Add the carrots to a large baking tray with the olive oil, the smoked paprika and the cumin and coriander mixture. Stir to combine well, then roast for 15 minutes.
- Give the carrots a stir, add the tomatoes and roast for a further 15 minutes
- Stir the carrots and tomatoes, add the butterbeans and roast for a further 10-15 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting, whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and toast the sesame seeds over a low heat until golden.
- Remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool for a minute, before tossing with the dressing and the rocket.
- Pile on your plate, before topping with the sesame seeds and a drizzle of tahini.
- Serve with slices of sourdough or another bread of your choice.