My friend summed up British pessimism the other day: “Every day that I wake up and see the sun’s still shining, it fills me with dread, because I know we’re going to pay when the weather breaks.”
Food blogs are going mad with homemade lemonade, barbecues and ice cream…so I thought that I’d post something to prepare you for that fateful day (supposedly Thursday) when the Indian summer leaves us, and we’re grounded back in the reality of it being October.
Hopefully this should make you happy about the coming of autumn—not sad at the departure of summer—because it’s a recipe that uses the best autumnal vegetables, creates lovely autumny colours, and tastes absolutely phenomenal.
Autumn Salad (for 2 main course-sized portions)
For the Salad
4 fresh beetroots
1 medium-sized butternut squash
40g sunflower seeds
100g rocket leaves
6 tbs olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
pinch of salt
For the dressing
2 tbs tahini paste
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs good olive oil
Peel the butternut squash, top and tail your beetroot, then chop them into similarly-sized chunks—roughly 3cm x 2cm.
Put the butternut squash one end of a roasting tin, and toss it in 2tbs of olive oil. Mix together the remaining 4tbs of olive oil in a jug with the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, crushed garlic cloves and salt.
Toss the beetroot in the dressing, and then place it the other end of the roasting tin to the butternut squash.
Put the root vegetables in an oven at 200C for 35 minutes—turn them half way through cooking.
When the squash and beetroot has been cooking for about 25 minutes, make the dressing by mixing together all the ingredients in a jug.
Next, slice the halloumi, and fry it in a hot frying pan until it the outside crisps up and goes golden—about 40 seconds either side should do the trick.
Finally, pop the sunflower seeds in a tray in the oven for a couple of minutes.
To serve, put a big handful of rocket in the middle of a plate, arrange the squash, beetroot and halloumi on top, drizzle over two tablespoons of the dressing, and top with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.