Seeds are so often overlooked but are such an amazing source of B vitamins, omega fatty acids and trace minerals – including the immunity boosting zinc which is handy at this time of year. They also add a depth of flavour and delicious crunch to a multitude of dishes and I love using them in salads. Together with the vitamin C packed sweet potato, this Sweet Potato, Seed and Tahini Salad is a fabulous winter salad to help stave off coughs and colds while hearty enough to feel comforting and filling in the colder weather.
As seeds need to provide everything a new plant needs to grown and thrive, it’s no wonder they are such a complete food. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds so boosts the seed content and also brings another flavour to the mix. I like to roast up a load of sweet potatoes when this is in the oven to add to other dishes later such as stews, soups and curries. Sweet potatoes are classed as a vegetable rather than a starch so great to include in our diets as much as possible. As they are high in fibre they make a salad more filling and a ‘real’ meal.
You can eat this salad warm or cold, just use the sweet potato and shallot mix straight from the oven or allow it to cool. Feel free to change up the leaves too for your favourites. Watercress is a lovely seasonal change and baby spinach works well too. You can leave out the cheese and add another protein instead if you would prefer. Because of the creamy dressing, this salad looks best served on a platter with the dressing drizzled over.
Sweet Potato, Seed and Tahini Salad
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 5 shallots, peels and cut into quarters length ways
- a little olive oil
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 70g rocket
- 1 large handful of parsley, finely chopped
- 120g soft but firm goats cheese (the one without rind which can be crumbled)
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
- 2 small cloves (or one large) garlic, crushed
- juice of 1 small lemon
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 180°c fan / 200°c / 350°f / Gas 4. Place the cubed sweet potato and shallots on a baking tray so they are not on top of each other and drizzle with a little oil, mix together and bake in the oven for 25-30min until the vegetables are soft and starting to brown.
- Step 2 While they are cooking prep the rest of the salad. Toast the seeds in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until they start to turn golden. Place to one side.
- Step 3 Make the sauce by vigriously stirring together the tahini and yoghurt so it’s completely mixed, add the lemon a little at a time and the garlic. Add black pepper to taste.
- Step 4 Lay the the rocket on a large platter, scatter over the sweet potato and shallots, the seeds, then crumble the goats cheese over, the parsley and finally drizzle with around half the dressing.
- Step 5 Serve with extra dressing on the side for people to add.