Roasted Butternut, Spinach & Brie Salad with Crispy Bacon Bits

20151130_181951There aren’t many salads I eat on their own, as a meal. I normally prefer salad on the side with meat or a main dish of some kind. But this is one of the rare exceptions. Maybe that’s not surprising when you look at the ingredient list! It’s basically a collection of my favourite foods from all the genres: bacon for meat, butternut, avo & spinach for veggies, and brie for cheese/dairy. Add the ciabatta croutons and my mouth is actually watering. Great in summer because it’s fresh but also substantial, and I’ll bet it works wonderfully in winter too.

Roasted Butternut, Spinach & Brie Salad with Crispy Bacon Bits

100g Brie cheese
250g bacon
2 ripe avos, cubed or sliced
200g cubed butternut
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
4 slices ciabatta, cubed (or bought croutons)
1 tblsp olive oil
Baby spinach leaves
Toasted seeds
Olive oil & balsamic reduction, to serve
*serves 4

Toss the cubed butternut in the olive oil and roast in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30min, stirring once halfway. If you prefer slightly cooked tomatoes, add the cherry tomato halves to the butternut pan for the last 5 minutes. At the same time, put the cubed ciabatta (tossed in 2 tsp olive oil) into the oven. Fry the bacon over a high heat until the fat has browned (that’s the secret to crispy bacon). Drain on paper towel and then cut/break into pieces. Arrange the spinach leaves on the plates and top with roasted butternut, sliced brie, cubed avo, cherry tomatoes and croutons. Sprinkle with crispy bacon and toasted seeds (if desired) and serve with olive oil and balsamic reduction.

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