roasted sweet potato salad with blue cheese

over the past week or so the weather in london has started to turn. i’m not ready to use the “a” word but there is a definite nip in the air and warm snugly clothes are looking more appealing than my summer sandals.

this means i’m starting to change what i want to eat, although i’m not ready to succumb to stews and bakes. this roasted sweet potato salad is a good half-way house, with the slightly caramelised pepper and potato hinting at the warming foods which will be appearing in the coming months, while the salad keeps things light.

roasted sweet potato and pepper salad with blue cheese (serves 4 as a starter)

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled

7 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

¼ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)

2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into strips

125g mixed salad leaves

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon dijon mustard

100g blue cheese (goats cheese would also work well)

1 tablespoon of toasted pine nuts

preheat the oven to 200c. cut the sweet potato into bite size pieces and mix with one tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic and the chilli flakes. spread these out on a baking tray, leaving a space at one end. mix the red pepper strips with a tablespoon of olive oil and place them in the leftover space on the tray. season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then roast until the vegetables are soft - the peppers will take 15-20 minutes and the sweet potatoes will take 40-50 minutes. put the roasted vegetables aside to cool.

make the salad dressing by mixing together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and mustard. mustard is a good alternative to crushed garlic in homemade salad dressings if you are already using garlic in another part of the dish.

assemble the salad by putting a handful of salad leaves on each person’s plate. top with the roasted vegetables and cubes of cheese then sprinkle with pine nuts and drizzle with salad dressing.