Saturday, 7 February 2009

warm roasted vegetable salad

Families come in all shapes and sizes.

Until I was 7 I grew up with a mother, a father and two brothers. Then my parents divorced and I suddenly had two extra sisters, a step father and an extra mum and two wonderful extra grandparents.

Not to mention my stepsisters' mother and her new husband and his kids. And my mother's two close female friends their children. Whoa!

You get the picture. It's a mega tribe that was not without its fights and frictions but now that we're all adults the bad egg was weeded out and the true, loving family members remain.

I'm reflective of all of this because one of my closest friends just had a baby. She had planned, so hopefully, to have a home birth but her son showed his first streak of parental rebellion. He refused to come out and too late grew too big for my friend’s tiny frame and she ended up having to have a caesarean.

I felt bad for her because she's wanted that home birth so much, but then I also felt so happy for her that she was able to make all the right choices throughout her 9 months that led to a beautiful, healthy boy - at 9.1 pounds no less (4.1kg)!!!

She is only my second friend to have a child so it's all very new (and frightening!) to me. It makes me think about my own family and when Jonas and I will decide to have kids.

To be honest, I'd rather someone just hand me a 2yr old and say "it's yours!" because babies and pregnancy do not interest me in the slightest. But I highly doubt some tired mother would hand over her toddler in the supermarket and let me keep it, so it looks like I'll just have to grow my own.

I am so jealous of men’s roles in the baby-making process. As a woman I feel utterly ripped off.

Somehow, this little whinge leads into the February Monthly Mingle theme of "healthy family dinners". The host is Michelle from What’s Cooking Blog.

Although most people think “kids” when they think “family” not everyone has kids and so my contribution to this healthy family dinner theme is a recipe for my own little family of two: Jonas and me.

Since he is a vegetarian, my recipe contains no meat. And since it’s winter in the northern hemisphere, where most of my blogging pals and readers reside, I decided to go with a recipe we cooked last winter.


Warm Roasted Vegetable Salad

Jonas’ very own recipe. Makes ½ cup.


250g cherry tomatoes
6 potatoes, chopped into chunks
¼ butternut pumpkin, chopped into chunks
1 parsnip, chopped into chunks
150g baby spinach
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon sumac
Olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 180’C.

2. In a baking tray, toss root vegetables with olive oil and crushed garlic.

3. Bake for 20 minutes. Then add another baking tray holding cherry tomatoes tossed with sumac and olive oil.

4. Bake for another 20 minutes until tomatoes are soft and starting to wrinkle and burst.

5. Check the root vegetables and remove when they are tender.

6. Drain the excess olive oil from the tomatoes and vegetables to use in sauce.

7. Toss the warm vegetables with the baby spinach and herb and mustard sauce (recipe below). Serve warm.

cheese in this salad would taste very good too.

Herb & Mustard Sauce
Jonas’ very own recipe. Makes ½ cup.


3 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil (use oil from roasting vegetables)
Freshly milled salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a food processor or blender, combine the herbs, mustard and vinegar until pureed. Add salt and pepper.

2. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until it emulsifies with the sauce. Taste to ensure acidity is balanced and adjust as needed.

Use as much of the olive you can salvage from the roasted tomatoes and vegetables but ensure at least 5 tablespoons are added to the sauce.



  1. Anna, the thought of a warm veggie salad in that dressing...a nice complement to some chicken, me thinks.

  2. Families are important - I miss mine! Miss u Anna :) xxoo


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