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 the salad:

2-3 orange sweet potatoes

2-3 red skinned potatoes

1 small butternut squash

2-3 purple skinned sweet potatoes

3 carrots

1 large red onion

1 head radicchio lettuce

handful oregano leaves

the spiced veggie 'dust':

1/3 cup semolina (or flour)

1/4 tspn cardamom

pinch cinnamon

1/4 tspn cumin

1 tspn smoked paprika

1 tspn mild paprika

1/4 tspn cayenne

pinch saffron threads

1/2 tspn ground pepper

2 tblspn salt flakes

the saffron vinaigrette:

1 clove garlic

1 tspn salt

good pinch saffron

1 tblspn lemon juice

2 tblspn red wine vinegar

2 tblspn shiraz

5 tblspn good olive oil

1/4 tspn sweet paprika

1/4 tspn hot paprika

pinch cardamom

pinch cinnamon

ground pepper

extra olive oil for roasting


time: 1 hr 

you will need:

  • baking trays
  • aluminum foil
  • mortar & pestle or blender



Nazafarin, the delightful roast vegetable salad

Nazafarin is a Persian name meaning 'to produce delight'

And I am delighted to present this tasty salad to you.

I made it because I was in possession of some amazing Persian saffron and the thought struck me to make a salad which was all the hues of red and orange gems; ruby, garnet, amber: they are all here.

The glamour of the radicchio, sweet potatoes, carrots and butternut all roasted and crisp.

Their natural beauty blushing from the saffron and paprika.

This really was a glorious feast.

Perfect for a night between seasons; chilly enough to crave something warm, light enough to want to be outdoors.

I know the list of spices seems daunting; that's really just me showing off my spice drawer. If you have just one good paprika, fresh ground pepper and fabulous salt and olive oil then the vegetables are going to taste great. The other ingredients are like scoring a full orchestra when you were expecting a string quartet!

preheat oven to 450f / 230c

line a couple of baking trays with foil and toss a healthy splash of olive oil (not the good stuff) over the foil. When the oven is heated, pop the trays in to heat the oil.

meanwhile top and tail the sweet potatoes, potatoes and butternut. Leave the skin on them all but slice them all in half lengthwise and then cut all of the halves into thirds or quarters (depending upon size) so that all of the vegetables are in wedges. Do the same to the onion.

mix all of the spice 'dust' ingredients in a large plastic bag (like one you get from the supermarket...clean...or a large ziploc bag) and toss to combine.

toss all of the wedged veggies (except the onion) into the bag and give everything a shake.

by now you have the veggies coated and the baking trays heated

arrange  the wedges (including the onion) onto the trays. Be careful not to splatter yourself. Give everything another douse with olive oil and pop in the oven for at least 30 minutes. (until crispy and browned but tender)

now for the saffron vinaigrette:

peel and crush the garlic clove. Add the salt and saffron and mix in a mortar and pestle or blender until you have reduced everything to a paste.

add the other ingredients and transfer to a container which has a lid (an old jam jar), fasten the lid and shake. Taste for seasoning.

putting it all together:

tear the radicchio apart and line the salad dish. Tumble the arugula on top of the radicchio. Arrange the roasted vegetables on top, pour the dressing and serve!

serve with the remainder of the shiraz (what, you drank it already?!)