Are you trying to reduce your food waste in 2022? Warm salads are a great way to use up bits and pieces of random veg lurking in your fridge. With the help of a hot oven, two or more veg can easily be transformed into a winter meal. Adapt the principles below to suit what you need to use up.
Start with a hot oven.
You can roast most ingredients for a warm salad. However, they have different cooking times so keep each type of veg separate on a baking tray. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas Mark 6 before you start.
Add oil and flavour.
Before roasting, drizzle veg with a little oil and toss them around in it. Although a salt and pepper seasoning is all you need, you can also experiment by adding flavours you have to hand such as cumin, mustard seeds or spice mixes.
Roast your roots
One or more of the following root veg make great warm salad ingredients (approx. cooking times in brackets). Remember you don’t need much of any – combine whatever you have.
· Cubes of celeriac (30 mins)
· Chunks of squash (30-40 mins)
· Quartered carrots (20-30 mins)
· Quartered parsnips (20-30 mins)
Roast your greens
Some green veg also work brilliantly in a warm salad so, if you have any lurking in the fridge, simply toss in oil, season and add them to your roasting tray.
· Cauliflower florets (20-25 mins)
· Thick strips of Kale (10-15 mins)
· Halved brussels sprouts (15 mins)
Bulk out your salad
If you are after something more substantial, you can add one of the following to your salad.
· Some cooked couscous, bulgur wheat or other grains
· Some tinned or cooked lentils, chickpeas or beans
· Bite-sized chunks of old bread tossed in olive oil and added to the roasting
tray for 10-15 mins.
· Any leftover salad leaves
· Add an onion to your roasting tray. Peel, cut into wedges and toss in oil before roasting for 20-30 mins.
· Roast cherry tomatoes with the other veg for about 15 mins.
· Thaw frozen sweetcorn and add to a hot frying pan until it becomes charred and toasted.
· Toasted nuts or seeds add crunch to a salad
Arrange your ingredients on a plate before finishing things off with a drizzle of dressing. You could use a simple mix of oil and wine vinegar or lemon. We used a yoghurt dressing: mix together three spoons of yoghurt with one of olive oil and a squirt of lemon or dash of wine vinegar and a good pinch of salt. Or try Yotam Ottolenghi’s delicious vegan tahini dressing.