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
Recipe adapted from Rachel Demuth’s colorful roasted root salad with pomegranate dressing .
- 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.