“It is, in my view, the duty of an apple to be crisp and crunchable, but a pear should have such a texture as leads to silent consumption.” ~ Edward Bunyard, The Anatomy of Dessert
I love my salads, but winter is a time better suited to warm foods and slow foods. The solution? A warm salad!
This salad combines the sweetness of baked pears (OMG – seriously there is not much nommier than a baked pear!) and root vegetables, with the tart crispness of cos lettuce and creamy sunflower sprouts to round things out. As a meal in itself add a little of your favourite cheese (blue is fabulous), or serve it as a tasty side for dinner. It also works well as a cold salad for any left-overs.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine slow cooked or roasted root vegetables and pears are very nourishing for our adrenals and thyroids, and help us to rest well and to heal. They fill up our depleted batteries. The salt (but it must be a good salt, like a Celtic or pink Tibetan salt) nurtures our kidneys and supports us through winter. Sunflower sprouts are chock-full of anti-oxidants, nutrients, beneficial enzymes, oxygen and are very alkalanising for your body. Even if it’s not winter in your part of the world this salad will help beat fatigue, and support your body and spirit if you are run ragged. Plus it’s yum!
1 small cos lettuce, 1 handful of sunflower seed sprouts (if you can’t find these substitute your favourite sprouts), 1 large beetroot, 2 carrots (I used purple because purple is awesome!) 2 firm beurre bosc pears, 1 to 2 heaped cups of sweet potato cubes, 2 tablespoons of pine nuts, 2 large green onions/shallots chopped, ghee or coconut oil for roasting, virgin cold pressed olive oil for your dressing, 1/2 a fresh lemon, good quality salt, ground ginger, sumac.
Toast your pine nuts by dry frying in a frypan over medium heat, tossing regularly until they are browned. Remove from heat and put into a bowl to stop them cooking any further.
Peel and cut the beetroot and sweet potato into cubes. Slice the pears and remove the core (no need to peel) and cut the carrots into batons. Toss with some ghee or coconut oil and arrange on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt. Put ground ginger on your sweet potato and pears. Add sumac to the pears, carrots and beetroot. Bake in a hot oven (180 degrees celsius or 350 degrees fahrenheit) for 30 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
Wash lettuce leaves and arrange on outside of bowl. When vegetables and pears are baked add into the centre of the leaves.
Place your sunflower shoots and green onions/shallots on top, and add in your pine nuts. Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze some fresh lemon over the top. Enjoy!