Festive Christmas Salad
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Peel and chop 1 large sweet potato into 2cm cubes and place on an oven tray with a baking sheet. Drizzle ¼ cup olive oil over the cubes and add some salt and pepper. Rub this onto all the pieces, and then place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cubes are tender. Take the tray out and set aside to cool.
Cook your grain of choice (we used pearl barley) according to packet instructions. After this is cooked, set aside to cool completely.
To prepare the candied pecans, heat a medium sized frying pan on medium-high heat. Add ¼ cup of olive oil to the pan and also add the pecans and then drizzle the maple syrup on top. Stir these for about 5 minutes until the pecans start to crisp but not burn. Remove these from the pan and let them cool
Prepare the dressing to add when ready to serve. Add all the dressing ingredients in a glass jar, put a lid on the jar and shake until well combined.
Remove the jewels from the pomegranate by slicing it into quarters, then while spreading the skin back with your hands, pick out the jewels and add to a bowl, making sure you don’t get any of the white skin on the inside.
Cut the core out of 1 apple and then cut the remaining apple into quarters. Finely slice the quarters vertically , keeping the slices from each quarter stacked so you can fan them out when arranging your salad (see the picture).
To assemble the salad add the arugula to the bottom of a large salad bowl. Scatter the grain across the top evenly, and then also scatter the cubes of sweet potato. Toss this around a little to bring some of the arugula up closer to the surface. Now add the clusters of apple slices in sets of 5 or 6, spaced evenly around the bowl. Again, this is just a decorative step, so if you prefer, you can just add the apple slices to the salad as you wish.
Sprinkle the candied pecans and pomegranate jewels on the top.
When you’re ready to serve the salad, pour the dressing on top.
3 cups arugula
1 cup cooked pearl barley, couscous or quinoa
1 sweet potato, diced
1 pomegranate, jewelled
1 apple, finely sliced
1 cup candied pecans
1 tbsp maple syrup
½ cup olive oil
½ cup olive oil
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp Dijon mustard (vegan)
Salt and pepper