This salad is the edible equivalent of layering clothes – except the toasty layers here are made up of robust seasonal vegetables, commanding leaves, cheese and nuts. Who needs cashmere when your salad is as warming as this?
As autumn breezes in and the temperature begins to take a steady nosedive, a salad of wispy leaves with tomatoes seems as preposterous as a bikini. This salad is the edible equivalent of layering clothes – except the toasty layers here are made up of robust seasonal vegetables, commanding leaves, cheese and nuts. Who needs cashmere when your salad is as warming as this?
500g Pumpkin or Butternut Squash, cut into wedges
2 red onions, cut into wedges
8 / 10 thin carrots, scrubbed and cut lengthways
4 parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthways
400g Jerusalem Artichokes peeled, and sliced lengthways
1 whole head of garlic, unpeeled but separated into cloves
1 head of radicchio
4 / 5 thick slices of sourdough bread or a small stale ciabatta
a few sprigs of thyme scattered
a few sage leaves
a glug of olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
A quarter teaspoon of dried chilli flakes if you desire heat
For the dressing:
150 ml extra virgin olive oil
50 ml red wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
a pinch of sugar
A generous handful of toasted hazelnuts
A good handful of grated ricotta salata
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Lay all the vegetables in a roasting tin. Scatter over the garlic cloves, sage, thyme and seasoning and drizzle over the olive oil. Roast for 40-45 minutes until the edges of some of the vegetables are caught and crisp.
Once the vegetables are out of the oven, fire up a griddle pan to a medium heat. Slice the bread thickly and pull apart the radicchio and brush with a little olive oil. Griddle bread till crisp and striped and radicchio till it is slightly yielding. Combine with roasted vegetables.
To make the dressing, simply whisk together all the ingredients and pour over warm vegetables. Finish with a tumble of hazelnuts and freshly grated ricotta salata. Serve at once.