Salads are not my forté. I realize their potential, and creative additions often occur to me (cubes of cold frittata! soft goat cheese rolled in ground spiced nuts!), but I’m not great at building one, unless it’s the grainy, beany kind. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But my greens – they’re growing! I need to keep up.
I’ve recently discovered the appeal of the plated salad – perfect for just three, and just as perfect for more – you start with a long plate or small platter, make a nest of greens and layer interesting things on top. I always wind up with too much when I fill a salad bowl, and this way the greens are there, but don’t take over the party.
I have the BBC to thank for this one, although I did make some changes – I like roasting potatoes rather than boiling them (you don’t lose nutrients to the water that way), and I swapped the pine nuts (which have you noticed are more expensive than platinum?) for toasted pecans. Walnuts would do nicely, too. Charring sweet potatoes is brilliant – it transforms them into something more smoky and intense – and you can go ahead and grill them alongside your steaks or whatever you have going, although this salad makes a pretty spanking dinner all by itself.