Lest you think winter's over, here's a slew of brisk days to remind you just how temperamental New York City seasons can be! Instead of complaining, I'm more than happy to celebrate the last of the wintry chill with a 'salad' of warm root vegetables.
For me, this winter was all about the humble parsnip. The gorgeously hued carrot may get all the glory, but it's the pale cousin that delights in unexpected ways. I created this homey dish as part of a menu project for school. Sweet roasted vegetables get topped with a smattering of fresh cheese and a mildly sweet 'n tangy dressing, prepared with au courant WHITE balsamic vinegar - heck, it's even sold at Trader Joe's now!
PS: Did I overhear that cult-worthy ramps are already springing forth on farmers' market tables?? To be honest, I greet that news with a mix of delight and dread, as I well know Twitterverse will soon be overrun with round-the-clock #ramp coverage in no time.
Roasted Winter Root Vegetable Salad
Loosely dapted from Food & Wine
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 3" thick matchsticks
2 parsnips, same as above
1 large red beet, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 ounces fresh cheese, like queso fresco or farmer's cheese, crumbled
Dressing (you'll have leftovers, keep it in fridge for 2-3 days):
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425°. On a large sheet, toss the carrots and parsnips 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. On a separate sheet pan, toss the beets with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast for about 35-40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots.
In a measuring cup, whisk the vinegar with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables are done, transfer to a large bowl and toss with vinaigrette to taste, seasoning with salt and pepper. Top the salad with the crumbled cheese and serve warm or at room temperature.