STEP UP YOUR SALAD GAME

By Aaron Walters

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Sauteed Kale.jpg
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Sauteed Kale.jpg

During a recent dinner for which I was cooking, I took the opportunity to showcase some new dishes that I've spent some time perfecting – the star of which was a roasted root vegetable salad. It looked beautiful on the plate, it had great complexity and an array of colors that made it the evening's standout. I paired this salad with the Zerran Red Blend from Spain. Another wine that would pair perfectly with this dish is the Grochau Cellars Melon de Bourgogne from Willamette Valley, Oregon. So, if your salad game is a bit stagnant, here's a new and exciting recipe to add to your repertoire. This salad takes some preparation, but is well worth the effort.

 

 

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad
with Sautéed Kale

  • 1 butternut squash (peeled, and diced into 1" cubes)
  • smoked paprika
  • 2 red beets, tops trimmed
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 4 heirloom carrots, washed and peeled
  • ground cumin
  • 2 celery roots, washed, peeled, and cut to 1" cubes
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and de-stemmed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • heavy cream
  • goat gouda cheese

For the vegetables:
After preparing your squash and carrots toss them each in 1 tablespoon honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle some smoked paprika on the squash. For the carrots, season with cumin. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil and create a partition in the middle with the foil. Place the carrots on one side and the diced squash on the other. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, tossing once during the cooking. 

Wrap the beets in foil and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until fork tender. Once cooked, let them cool slightly and peel. Cut into cubes, toss in 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey and set aside. 

For the celery root puree: 
Place celery roots in a medium saucepan with water and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a blender with the heavy cream. Start with 1/4 cup and gradually add to achieve the desired consistency. 

For the kale:
Wash and tear the leaves from the kale stems. Pat dry then drizzle with olive oil and toss with the minced garlic. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan. Once warm, add kale and sauté until just wilted, about 4 minutes.

For plating:
Spoon some celery root puree onto the left side of a salad plate and drag the back of the spoon through the puree toward the middle of the plate. Place the squash and beets randomly throughout the puree and plate 2 carrots on either side. Mound the kale in the middle of the puree and shave some goat gouda cheese on top.

Enjoy this salad and experiment with different seasonings on the vegetables. Have fun with it!