ROASTED ROOT SALAD WITH MAPLE SOY DRESSING–THE ONLY TIME I ENJOY BEETS!
Not only is this salad good, but the dish towel (a present from friend Mary Jo) is worth sharing, too! If you like beets, you will love this recipe. If you don’t like beets–well, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Even though my husband Allen loved beets, I could never train myself to like them. So, in order to satisfy Allen’s palate, I would buy jars of cooked beets. I dutifully put a slice or two on my plate and forced myself to try them – again. It never worked.
Over the years, I have bought fresh beets, put up with pink fingers after peeling them, and tried roasting, boiling, steaming to no avail. I even tried grating them and hiding them with other ingredients. That only worked with chocolate cake.
BUT (you knew there would be a “but” here, didn’t you?), I kept trying and now actually enjoy them in this salad. Of course, this recipe does modify the pure beet taste due to roasting and mixing with other roasted vegetables. Then, when I add one of my favorite flavor combinations (maple syrup and soy sauce), and toss everything into a salad, it works! I really do enjoy the roasted beets– along with the other root vegetables.
I peel all of the root vegetables for this salad before roasting them. You can choose to just scrub them before dicing into similar sized pieces if you prefer. Then chop them into pieces about the same size.
Also, I like to slightly separate the different veggies on two sheet pans. That way, if the beets need a bit longer than the parsnips, I can just scrape off the vegetables that are done but keep the others in the oven for a few more minutes of roasting. Just make sure the veggies are not crowded; you want them to roast, rather than steam.
Toss the roasted vegetables with about half of the dressing ahead of time. This gives them some time to start soaking up the flavors. Then when it is time to eat, just dump the whole lot on top of torn romaine leaves. You need the crunch and stability of a stiffer lettuce like romaine, rather than soft leaf lettuce, to stand up to the hefty root vegetables.
Let everyone dish out what they like and pass extra dressing for those who want more of the flavorful combination of soy and maple.
Sometimes, I make the roasted root vegetables ahead of time and refrigerate them until about an hour before serving the salad. Then I let them come to room temperature because the flavor really is best when the vegetables are not too cold.
ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLE SALAD WITH MAPLE SOY DRESSING
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup, NOT pancake syrup
- 2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Tsp Freshly Grated Ginger or 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Large Beets, peeled and diced
- 2 Large Parsnips, peeled and diced
- 3-4 Large Carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 Rutabagas, peeled and diced
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- 2 Heads Romaine Lettuce, cleaned, torn into pieces
Dressing: Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place beets and parsnips on each end of one pan, drizzle with half the olive oil and about half of the lemon pepper seasoning. Toss to coat but try to keep the vegetables separate from each other. Repeat with the carrots and rutabagas.
Try not to crowd the vegetable pieces, so they roast rather than steam. Cook the vegetables for 30-35 minutes, stirring once, until they are browned and cooked through.
Combine the roasted vegetables when cooked and toss with about half of dressing. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve the salad. If keeping longer than 2 hours, refrigerate the vegetables until about an hour before serving. The flavor is best at room temperature.
When ready to serve, place lettuce in large salad bowl, pour roasted veggies on top. Toss with additional dressing and serve.
Adapted from Recipes from the Root Cellar, Andrea Chessman