I’m always looking for ways to eat more veg and to try to be healthier, I’m not always successful. Recently at work I had lunch from Basil deli, which is fab by the way, and one of the salads was a beautiful roast veg salad. I’m not entirely sure of all the ingredients that were in it but it was all stained a gorgeous shade of pink from the beetroot juice. There was parsnip in it and I would never have thought to put that in a salad. It was delicious.
So of course I had to come home and experiment. I have been making roast veg from Delia Smith for years as a side for roasts, in fact I prep it in advance and use it for Christmas day dinner. Delia doesn’t get enough recognition in my opinion, her recipes never fail. I started with this as my base for the recipe but I wanted to use sumac and pomegranate to make the veg more interesting for a salad. I took inspiration from Diana Henry’s new book From Oven to Table and Anna Jones’s A Modern Way to Eat and this is what I have come up with.
You can make the salad in advance, just don’t add the cheese until ready to serve. It will keep covered in the fridge for a couple of days.
Useful tips & links:
- You can use any vegetables you like to make this, butternut squash or sweet potatoes would work well too.
- Keep in mind the type you are using when deciding the cooking times. How long the veg takes to cook depends on how large you cut them. Cutting to the size in the photos here takes 45 minutes to roast.
- I cheat slightly and use the vacuum packed precooked beetroot as it is much easier and raw beetroot takes quite a long time to cook.
- I have added goats’ cheese here but feta would also work well. Leave it out if you want to make the dish vegan and use agave instead of honey.
- You can add leaves such as kale or spinach but as I usually serve it with other salads I leave them out here.
- Suggested salads that would work well with this are Broccoli and Feta Salad and this Brussels Sprouts Apple and Halloumi Salad. Just make sure there is only one cheese between them or it will be overkill!
- For another roast vegetable salad have a look at Caroline’s gorgeous Sunshine Salad on Bibliocook.
- This salad would be delicious topped with toasted seeds or nuts. I have used Dukkah here which I usually make but this time bought a lovely jar of Mitzi’s Mezze in Mr. Bells in the English Market in Cork.
Roast Root Vegetable Salad with Goats’ Cheese
Serves 3-4 as a light meal, more as part of a selection
- 1 large parsnip
- 3 carrots
- 1 red onion
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 beetroot, pre cooked
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Goats cheese
- Preheat your oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6. Peel and cut the carrots and parsnips to roughly the same size, I cut mine to about 1cm cubed. Spread them out in a large roasting tray.
- Peel and cut the onion into wedges and add to the other veg on the tray. Pour over about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and about a teaspoon of sumac. Mix everything together so that the veg is all coated. Add a few sprigs of thyme to the tray and roast for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the veg sticking to the pan.
- About 15 minutes from the end of the cooking time chop the beetroot and put it in a small oven proof dish. Pour over a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in with the other veg for 10 minutes.
- When all of the veg is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork, remove from the oven. Remove the thyme from the veg.
- Pour the juices from the beetroot into a bowl. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses and honey. Season with salt and pepper and another bit of sumac. Whisk together and taste to make sure you are happy with the seasoning.
- Pour the dressing into the carrots and parsnips and mix well. Add the beetroot and gently mix, if you are too enthusiastic the beetroot will stain all of the rest of the veg. Which wouldn’t be the end of the world to be honest.
- Allow the veg to cool and plate it up. Top with a little goats cheese or cheese of your choice. Sprinkle over toasted nuts or seeds or dukkah for crunch.