Salad Daze at Balmoral Beach


We had just laid out our picnic spread and I overheard a passerby comment on how good our salad looked, which made me pleased as punch because it was a posh suburb and they obviously have high standards there.

Sometimes cookbook authors say, “Now don’t let the long list of ingredients deter you …”. Well I usually am deterred by long lists of ingredients but this salad is not so bad as I keep the majority of these ingredients on hand, with rosemary and parsley foraged from the garden (which is a treat because they happen to be the only two edible things out there, aside from aloe but I’ve yet to make anything tasty out of that).

Kale and Roasted Butternut Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Roasted Butternut

  • Butternut squash, peeled and cut into pieces, 400g
  • salt
  • olive oil, light

Rosemary Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Zest and juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 25g (2 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • roasted garlic, 3 cloves, mashed (or 1 small clove of raw garlic, minced)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp honey (optional)

Salad ingredients

  • Kale, baby or adult, 60g
  • Rocket, 30g
  • Baby spinach, 25g
  • Red cabbage, finely shredded, 1 cup
  • flat leaf parsley, 1 small handful, leaves picked
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • Goat cheese (chevre), 60g
  • pumpkin seeds, 3 Tbsp
  • sunflower seeds, 3 Tbsp
  1. Roast butternut squash in preheated 175 deg oven on a baking tray with a little salt and oil until soft. Don’t let it get too mushy. I prefer using butternut over other pumpkins as it tends to hold its shape better when cooked. Allow to cool.
  2. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a jar (except for the honey) and shake. Taste; if too tart, add the honey. If not tart enough, add a little apple cider vinegar.
  3. Place the salad leaves in a bowl together with the butternut and dressing and toss. (Don’t add all of the dressing at once, as you may not need it all and soggy salad is to be abhorred.) Top with the parsley, pecans, goat cheese, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

This salad goes well with roast chicken. If you are taking it on a picnic, bring the dressing separately in a jar, and also bring the seeds separately and add those just before serving.