Roasted butternut, orange and feta salad

We got to try out that salad and salad dressing I had been dreaming about tonight, it was gorgeous. And a good thing too because the chicken espetada turned out to be off, something we only realised once we had braai’ed it and were doing a quick taste check to see that it was done. The salad on its own was quite satisfying and very healthy.

roasted butternut salad

Ingredients:

(Use quantities as required for the number of servings to be made)
Butternut
Cherry tomatoes
Yellow pepper
Feta
1 Orange
Fresh mint leaves
Lettuce
Walnuts (optional)

Dressing:
1 Orange
Olive oil
Dried mixed herbs
Sugar
Salt
Fresh thyme

Method:

Preheat the grill on your oven.
Cook the butternut in the microwave for 6min (assuming 800W microwave).
Layout the butternut on a baking tray in a single layer.
Drizzle the butternut with olive oil and season with ground salt and pepper.
Pop the butternut under the grill for about 15min until golden, turning once to evenly grill.
Remove the butternut from the oven once done and allow to cool.
In a large salad dish or small single-serving dish(es) layer the rest of the salad ingredients. The orange should be peeled and the segments separated. Either add the segments as they are or cut into chunks width-ways.
Toast the walnuts (any nuts may be substituted, even pumpkin seeds may be used) in a pan on a high stove setting. Watch them carefully as nuts burn easily due to their high oil content. (Ask me, I’m the woman who created an oven fire when trying to toast cashews, having carefully chopped them by hand not a moment before). Allow the nuts to cool.
Add the butternut once cooled.
Add the nuts once cooled.

orange juice salad dressing

To make the salad dressing combine the juice of an orange with a dash of olive oil (how much is really up to personal preference, but the oil shouldn’t be more than 1/3 of the orange juice), a pinch or two of the mixed herbs, a pinch of salt and about 2 teaspons sugar, to taste. Add the leaves from some fresh thyme straight off the stalk (thyme has such tiny leaves it would be a waste of time to try to chop them up). Give the dressing a good shake to dissolve the salt and sugar and to combine the oil and juice. Taste it and add whatever you feel is missing – I have been known to even add water to a dressing when I thought it was too thick and strong.

Just before serving drizzle the dressing over the salad.

Voila! A healthy meal which satisfies all of the senses…

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