Have I mentioned how much I love Tamar Adler? I wrote about her book, An Everlasting Meal, in a previous post, and I can't stress enough how great it is. If you love food and cooking and want to feel inspired, then I urge you to get a copy. Her philosophy of cooking reminds me to relax and to use plenty of good olive oil.
One of her many cooking tips is to set one day of the week aside to roast a few pans of vegetables. This way, you'll have plenty of cooked food that can quickly be prepared in a variety of ways throughout the week. Adler's recipe for a roasted root salad is one of my favorites. It is an ideal recipe during our transition from winter to spring, as it uses ingredients from both seasons. While Adler encourages you to cook everything on one day, it's easy enough to roast the vegetables the day you want to eat the salad. Just leave enough time so that they can cool to room temperature.
The beauty of her recipes is that the boundaries are wide. You can use most any vegetable you have on hand, though I tend to use roots. My favorite combination is with potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots. I think I'll swap out the sweet potatoes for beets next time.
Also, Adler's recipe calls for different handful sizes and other rough estimates. I find that the measurements below work best for me, but you might want more olive oil or less lemon juice, etc. Since you're not using an emulsified dressing, you can add more of whichever dressing ingredient while everything is in the bowl. Just make sure to toss well.
Roasted Vegetable Salad
adapted from An Everlasting Meal
makes 2 to 4 servings
I recommend toasting the almonds while you've got the oven on for the vegetables. Just remember to set a separate timer for the almonds, as they should only take about 10 minutes to toast.
2 cups chopped and roasted vegetables, room temperature (i.e. a couple carrots, 1 beet, 1 small sweet potato, 1 parsnip and/or potato) *roasting instructions follow
1 shallot, thinly sliced (as shallot sizes vary, aim for about 1/4 cup of sliced)
scant 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp prepared coarse ground mustard
2 Tbsp good olive oil
a big squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1 large handful of baby arugula
3 Tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
To roast vegetables:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel all vegetables and chop in large bite-sized pieces. If using potatoes, cut them slightly smaller than other roots, as they tend to take longer to cook. Spread chopped vegetables on a large cookie sheet and drizzle with a healthy glug of olive oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with a big pinch of kosher salt.
Roast vegetables for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once. Vegetables should be tender but crisp. Let cool to room temperature.
In a medium-sized salad bowl, soak shallot slices in white wine vinegar with a pinch of salt for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in mustard and let sit for a 2 to 3 minutes.
If using leftover roasted vegetables, bring them to room temperature by leaving them on the counter for an hour or so.
Toss roasted vegetables and arugula in the salad bowl with the soaked shallots. Add the olive oil and toss to combine. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Add almonds and parsley and gently toss together. Serve.