Sweet potato, rye grain, tarragon and ricotta salad

Sweet potato, rye, tarragon and ricotta salad

"Rye grains really do need to be soaked properly, so this isn’t a spur-of-the-moment salad," say David and Charlotte Bailey, authors of Wholefood Heaven in a Bowl: Natural, Nutritious and Delicious Wholefood Recipes to Nourish Body and Soul. "But its flavour is deep and complex and it’s super-healthy, being very high in fibre and magnesium as well as many other nutrients. Rye is beloved in Nordic cultures and we've kept with a Nordic vibe, pairing it with the delicious herb tarragon."

Serves: Serves two


150g or ¾ cup rye grains, soaked overnight
salt and pepper
600g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
300g butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
1½ tbsp olive oil
6 sprigs tarragon, leaves plucked
125g or ½ cup ricotta
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
2 tsp olive oil


Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Bring a pan of water to the boil. Drain and rinse the rye grains before adding them to the boiling water, along with a pinch of salt. You don’t need to be too precise about how much water, but it should be in the region of four parts water to one part rye. Cover with a lid and bring back to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 50–60 minutes or until the rye grains are tender (they will still have a little bite). Drain and place to one side to cool.

Meanwhile, put the sweet potato and butternut squash into a mixing bowl, add the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and mix well.
Transfer to a roasting tray lined with greaseproof (waxed) paper and roast for 50–60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes and squash have taken on good colour and taste cooked. Once ready, set aside to cool.

While they’re roasting and the rye is still cooking, make the dressing. Combine the lemon juice, mustard, honey, olive oil and a little salt and pepper in a bowl and place to one side.

Once everything is cooled, gently combine the rye, sweet potato mix, tarragon leaves and dressing in a large bowl.

Spoon in the ricotta and serve, adding a little more black pepper if you like.

For a vegan option, leave out the ricotta and use agave instead of honey.

Extracted with kind permission from Wholefood Heaven in a Bowl: Natural, Nutritious and Delicious Wholefood Recipes to Nourish Body and Soul by David and Charlotte Bailey, published by Pavilion Books. Images by Haarala Hamilton.

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