Winter salad

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This is a deeply gratifying dish for chilly months – it offers the fresh and lively flavours of a salad, but the comfort of a more substantial meal. Keep an eye on the nuts after adding them to the roast carrots and shallots – they’re all too easy to scorch.

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: About 35 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 300 g (10½ oz) small carrots
  • 6 French shallots, halved
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 150 g ( oz) walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 150 g ( oz) prunes, pitted and halved
  • 200 g (7 oz) faro or spelt
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
  • 175 g (6 oz) goat’s cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5). Halve or thickly slice the carrots, depending on their size, and toss with the shallots, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking tray and roast for about 25 minutes until caramelised and soft. Add the walnuts and prunes to the tray, sprinkling them evenly over the vegetables, and return to the oven to toast for a further 5–10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cover the faro with 500 ml (17 floz) cold water in a saucepan. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce the heat, leaving the faro to simmer merrily for 25 minutes. Drain off any remaining water then cover the pan and set the faro aside.

Make the dressing by whisking the remaining olive oil, vinegar, garlic and mustard together with a little salt and pepper. The dressing should be slightly sharp to counter the sweet carrots and prunes.

Combine the faro, carrot mixture, half the parsley and half the dressing in a serving bowl. Crumble the goat’s cheese over the salad, drizzle with the remaining dressing and scatter with the rest of the parsley.