For me salad is one of those meals that can either be totally divine and totally hunger sating, or unbelievably boring and hungry making. This salad is definitely the first. The combination of flavours is so wonderful. Between the sweet squash coated with poppy seeds, juicy tomatoes, crunchy pine nuts, courgettes and beans every tastebud is hit. The sweet, creamy dressing with a hint of chilli, however, really brings the whole thing together. It both complements and enhances all existing flavours and really takes your plate to the next level. It takes about 3 minutes longer than making a simple balsamic alternative but it tastes 3 million times more exciting. Tahini is also an incredible source of plant protein, as are pine nuts, which is why this fills you up so nicely yet still leaves you feeling light and energetic. One plate also gives you five juicy portions of vegetables, except it’s so delicious that you’d never notice how much health you’re eating. The perfect summer lunch.
- 1 large squash
- 1/2 a bowl of rocket
- 1/2 a bowl of spinach
- 2 dozen cherry tomatoes
- 2 large handfuls of green beans
- 1 and a 1/2 large courgettes
- 1/2 a cup of pine nuts
- 1/2 a cup of poppy seeds
For the dressing
- 1 tablespoon of tahini
- 2 tablespoons of agave
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 a tablespoon of chilli flakes, add more or less depending on how spicy you like your food
Slice the squash in half, peel the skin and remove the seed-filled centre. Then chop it into cubes and place them in a baking tray. Cover the cubes with olive oil and poppy seeds, mix well to ensure that they are totally covered. Then bake for 40 minutes in a 200C oven, until they can easily be pierced with a fork.
While the squash cooks prepare the rest of the salad. For the dressing place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, once this is done keep this to one side.
Steam the beans for 10 minutes, then allow to cool. Slice the courgettes into rounds and steam for about 4 minutes, so that they are still crunchy but cooked enough to be easily digested. Allow these to cool too. Then add the beans, courgette, spinach and rocket to a salad bowl and stir well.
Once the squash has baked for 30 minutes add the pine nuts and halved cherry tomatoes, allow these to bake all together for the remaining 10 minutes. Then remove the tray, allow it to cool for a few minutes before adding it to the salad bowl. Then pour on the dressing and mix well. Serve and enjoy, this is so delicious.