This is a delicious salad that’s packed with nutrition. Baby spinach is a rich in vitamins and minerals (particularly iron), beetroot is renown for its antioxidant qualities and is an excellent source of folic acid (essential for women in the early stages of pregnancy), sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene and vitamin B6 and pine nuts are rich in health promoting fats and vitamin E. Interestingly, the green beetroot leaves are richer in iron than spinach so reserve them and add to smoothies, juices or soups.
I often prepare the ingredients at the weekend so that I can mix up a salad either for lunch or dinner in around 5 minutes. The roasted vegetables last for several days in the fridge.
- 3 medium sized beetroots
- 1 large sweet potato (or kumera)
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 50g/2 oz pine nuts
- 50g/2 oz goat’s cheese
- 30ml/2 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 tablespoons quality aged balsamic vinegar
- 1.5 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees for a fan forced oven).
Peel the beetroots and sweet potato/kumera. Cut the sweet potato sideways into coin shaped pieces that are approximately 1.5cm or half an inch thick. Once complete, quarter each of the coins so that they’re around 2cm x 2cm in width. Add to a large bowl, toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add to the back end of a baking tray.
Next cut the beetroot into chunks that are around 2.5cm x 2.5cm. Add to a large bowl and toss in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place at the front of the baking tray that you’ve already added the sweet potato to (the reason for putting the sweet potato at the back and the beetroot at the front is because the beetroot takes slightly longer to cook so placing in the hotter part of the oven should address this).
Roast for around 1 hour and 15 minutes until the sweet potato starts to brown and the beetroot has turned a deeper shade of purple. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Just before you’re ready to serve, warm a frying pan to a medium-high heat and once hot add the pine nuts. Toast for around two minutes, tossing the nuts every 30 seconds or so to ensure they don’t burn. Note that pine nuts cook quickly so as soon as they start to turn brown remove from the heat and transfer to a large salad bowl. Add the baby spinach, roast beetroot, sweet potato and goat’s cheese (crumble this through) and mix through the salad dressing.
Makes 2 large salads or 4 side salads.