There should be a featured salad for every season, which highlights all the flavors, aromas, textures, and characteristics found prominently within those given months. During the summer, I became quite fond of grilling veggies a la plancha (over slate) with olive oil, salt & pepper, parsley, and garlic cloves. I became accustomed to doing this almost bi-weekly and it was a great way to extract the richness out of the vegetables, while giving them an extra hit of flavor with the accompanying garlic cloves. This autumn, roasting root vegetables has taken the place of grilling vegetables ‘a la plancha’ and I’ve enjoyed cooking vegetables such as sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, carrots, leeks and onions alongside a classic triad of herbs (rosemary, thyme, and sage). And thus, the roasting of the root vegetables becomes the very focal point of this recipe.
I extracted this recipe from one of my favorite food blogs: domesticate-me.com. Serena Wolf, the author of the blog and accomplished culinary graduate of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, posts healthy and appealing recipes once every few days. Unfortunately, I can’t quite keep up with the frequency in which she posts, but I’ve taken a liken to almost every single thing she’s posted. Her writing is fresh and honest and she’s able to effectively intertwine anecdotes with the recipes that she conjures up. The recipes are never too difficult and she continually makes an effort to simplify her recipes for even the most layman of cooks. For me, cooking is a way to clear my head and de-stress from the day-to-day grind. It should be that way for everyone, provided that the degree of difficulty in the recipe isn’t too steep.
For one, your immune system gets an exponential boost from the barrage of root vegetables found within this salad. Carrots, turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and red onion are cut up and roasted with garlic, thyme, rosemary, and sage for 45 minutes. Not to mention that smashing garlic is a great way to relieve the stress and frustration from the day. I liken it to the way that people take up boxing for the same reasons. Crumble some herbed goat cheese, put the vegetables over some sort of greens (I replaced arugula with spinach), and mix with the provided dressing and there you have it. The combination of the olive oil, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, and mustard serves as the perfect finishing touch for an already rich and healthy salad. I found that I had less of a craving for dessert than usual after eating this salad, due to the caramelized onion effect as well as the sweet, satiating dressing.
Even if you don’t want to make this salad on the regular, roasting a plethora of root vegetables is a great way to meet your daily vegetable intake and you can reheat them as you please throughout the week.
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Herbed Goat Cheese, over Greens
Recipe taken from http://www.domesticate-me.com
2 medium carrots (or 3 small), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small red onion, cut in half and then halves cut into fourths
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp. fresh sage, chopped
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
5 oz. baby arugula or spinach
4 oz. herbed goat cheese
For the dressing:
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp. dark brown sugar, packed
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper