Roasted rainbow vegetable salad

by David Demaison

A hearty salad with puy lentils and goat’s cheese

Crunchy cocoa nibs add a sultry, nutty edge to this healthy, hearty dish, while the sharp goat’s cheese counterbalances the sweetness of the deep red beetroot and golden sweet potato. Great on its own, it also pairs well with peppered mackerel. Perfect comfort food for cosy autumnal nights.


2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
3 large beetroots, peeled and sliced into ½ cm thick circles from Ted's Veg
3 tbsp olive oil
Garlic clove
200g puy lentils
1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
3 spring onions, peeled and sliced finely at an angle
Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
20g walnuts
20g cocoa nibs
Salt flakes
100g goat’s cheese
2 large handfuls of watercress


Preheat the oven to 200C. Toss the cubed butternut squash and beetroot rounds with 1 tbsp olive oil, a garlic clove, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 45 mins or until they are tender but still retain their texture.

While the vegetables are roasting, cook the lentils. Place in a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover the lentils by 2cm. Place on a high heat, cover and bring to the boil. Add the vegetable bouillon powder then reduce the heat and simmer, loosely covered with a lid, for 15–20 mins or until the lentils are tender (do not overcook).

Transfer the lentils to a large bowl and let them cool down. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, spring onions, parsley and roasted vegetables. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Place the walnuts on a chopping board and crush with a rolling pin until they are about the same consistency as the cocoa nibs. Put the nibs on the board too and a pinch of salt flakes. Cut the goat’s cheese into segments and roll each into a small ball. Carefully roll the balls individually over the board, pressing the mixture into each.

To assemble the salad, spread the watercress on a large serving plate and spoon over the roasted vegetable and lentil mix. Place the balls of goat’s cheese on top and drizzle with a little olive oil.