Of course we have our favourite salads, but I'm planning to be a little more adventurous over the next couple of months and push us out of our comfort zone now and again! There's some amazing inspiration on pinterest (goodness, I've only just discovered pinterest and isn't that a rabbit hole that's easy to fall down?!) and I've been pinning away like mad.
Oh and if you're wondering do our kids eat the salad? Yes, they love it. The vegetable garden has been the best thing for encouraging a love of fresh produce. Often their favourite things are devoured right there and then in the garden and never make it to the plate.
For those of you who might like to play along, here's one of my family's favourites.
Butterflied Lamb with Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad
For the lamb
1 butterflied lamb
extra virgin olive oil
small handful of fresh oregano and rosemary
2 cloves fresh garlic
couple of pinches of good quality salt
For the salad
2 sweet potatoes
olive oil spray
a few good handfuls of spinach leaves
mini roma tomatoes
1 ripe avocado
1/4 red capsicum sliced finely
small handful of kalamata olives, pips removed
For the dressing
splash of dark balsamic vinegar
squeeze of lemon juice
a couple of sprigs of oregano sliced finely
a good glug of extra virgin olive oil
Here's how I do it:
Peel and cube the sweet potato. Spray lightly with some olive oil spray. Spread out thinly on a baking tray. Bake in a hot oven (around 200 degrees) , turning every 15 mins or so until crispy at the edges. This takes about an hour.
Then, roughly cut oregano, rosemary and garlic. Rub both sides of the meat generously with herb mix. Sprinkle meat evenly with salt and then drizzle olive oil over the top. Give it a good rub to try and encourage the flavours to penetrate the meat. I love to either cook the meat in the Weber or in a hot oven (around 200 degrees) until the outside is all caramelised and the inside is still juicy. This is normally around an hour in my oven- usually it's quicker on the Weber. But keep an eye on it. Yours might cook faster/hotter and you don't want it to dry out.
While you wait for these to cook, spread your spinach out on a serving dish. Make sure you wash it first! Nothing yuckier than gritty salad. Top with sliced avocado, quartered mini romas, finely sliced capsicum. Tear the bocconcini and olives over the top. When the sweet potato cools a little scatter over the top of salad. Dress at the last minute, or serve dressing on the side so everyone can help themselves.
Allow your meat to rest for a few minutes before slicing up to serve alongside the salad.
Enjoy while it's still warm!