When life gives you root vegetables, make a roast. That’s what I always say. The organic box has been brimming with carrots, parsnips, butternut squash and beets. As much as I love a good roast dinner, I’m not always in the mood for a big heavy gravy fest (particularly because such occasions typically involve way more wine than would be prudent for a school night).
This recipe from Rachel Demuth takes hearty, autumnal vegetables and turns them into a light and refreshing salad. We made this recipe in one of her cooking classes a year or two ago and I spotted it again in the latest issue of food magazine (which also happens to feature my interview with Harvey Nichol’s head chef Louise McCrimmon – check it out!).
The recipe calls for “pomegranate syrup” which is surprisingly easy to find in London’s Stoke Newington, a largely Turkish neighborhood where just about every off license / corner shop sells the stuff. If you can’t get a hold of it, I suspect you could sub some other fruity syrup or sweetener (I wouldn’t recommend maple syrup, however) or perhaps more balsamic.
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 butternut squash, chopped into chunks
- 2 parsnips, chopped into chunks, slightly smaller than the squash
- 2 carrots, chopped into same-sized chunks as the parsnips
- 2 leeks, sliced into chunks
- 3 beets, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 head of garlic cloves, peeled
- spinach or rocket, fresh or steamed
For the dressing:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp pomegranate syrup
- 1 Tbsp balsamic
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 390F.
- Combine the squash, carrots, parsnips, garlic and leeks in a large roasting dish with 2 Tbsp olive oil and roast in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes, turning every so often, until the squash is cooked and everything is starting to blacken a bit.
- Meanwhile, place the beetroot in another roasting dish (otherwise it will color everything else pink!) and stir in 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Roast for about 25 minutes, until it too is starting to blacken.
- To make the dressing, cut the pomegranate in half and over a bowl, ease out the pink seeds. Mix the seeds and juice with the olive oil, pomegranate syrup and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste.
- To serve, pile the baby spinach or rocket leaves onto a serving dish, top with the roasted veggies and drizzle over the pomegranate dressing.