I can’t remember the first time I used curry powder in my cooking, but I’m sure it happened while I lived in the UK. Indeed, back in those days, I would find the sophisticated pungent aroma of curry pretty much everywhere: in the dorm room I used to live in while working on my postgraduate dissertation; intermingled with the deep-fried smells coming from the local chippy; on my hands after lunch in the noisy cafeteria. Steeped in a long history and perceived by some as a tool for re-imagining a cuisine largely characterized by robust ingredients and rustic applications, the lasting impact of curry on British dishes is nothing short of extraordinary. Indeed, I fell in love with this ingredient while living in the UK – and I will cherish it forever 🙂
This salad pays tribute to my ongoing fascination with curry while also epitomizing my belief in plant-based eating, which has fueled my inspiration in the kitchen these past few years. I have been roasting a lot of veggies lately (it is fall, after all, lol), and for this recipe I decided to pair roasted veggies with fresh carefully picked ones to create a balance of flavors and textures. This salad is all about the present (fall roasted veggies) and the future (fresh veggies in all their colorful glory). Something fresh, something roasted – and a lot of plant-based goodness in between 🙂
I started off by preparing the quartered potatoes for roasting, “massaging” them (using my hands) with a combination of extra virgin olive oil, curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste. I usually use Spice Islands’ Curry Powder – I have tried several curry powders in the past (both prepacked and bought in bulk), and this is the one my family and I have found to be the most flavorful and delicious.
In a separate bowl, I used an olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper mixture for my soon-to-be-roasted zucchini slices. I placed the potatoes in a baking pan lined with parchment paper, and roasted them in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until tender. The sliced zucchini were placed in a similarly prepped baking pan, but I kept them in the oven for only 25 minutes to avoid burnt edges.
While the potatoes and zucchini are in the oven, you can go ahead and make the salad dressing by mixing the remaining olive oil, vinegar, freshly chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. This way, you avoid losing precious time later on 🙂
Once the veggies were done roasting, I placed them in a big mixing bowl and let them cool down. I added the fresh veggies (red bell pepper and green and red cabbage), and mixed until well combined. I then poured the dressing over the veggies, mixed again, tasted, and added salt and pepper. You can also add more oil, if at all necessary.
And that’s it! So straightforward, so satisfying!
This salad represents the best of both worlds to me – the spring and summer of freshness and crispiness, the fall and winter of warmth and spicy goodness. Somewhere in-between, bringing everything together, the pungency of curry lingers on, providing layer upon layer of sophisticated fire – to keep the cold weather at bay, to keep excitement at the dining table. This salad is beautiful, vibrant, healthy, and utterly delicious 🙂