In a desperate need to make a big salad that could serve as an entree or a side salad, I came up with this gorgeous, delicious winter salad. Honestly, as far as salads go, this wasn’t that much effort. The vegetables were easy to cut and prepare for roasting and everything else came ready to enjoy ~ ripe pears, organic mixed greens, goat cheese and TJ’s candied pecans. I made the dressing the day before so assembly was a breeze. We served this with a smoked brisket, but we all would have been totally satisfied with just having the salad.
Serves 4 to 6 servings
- 5 large tricolored organic carrots, julienne cut
- 1 large organic zucchini, sliced lengthwise and then in half
- 1 medium size organic cauliflower, florets cut to fork size bites
- 1 leek, washed and sliced in rounds (green parts only)
- 6 whole cloves of garlic
- 4 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 T kosher salt
- 1 tsp lemon pepper
- 2 ripe organic pears, sliced with peel
- 1/3 C candied pecans (or toasted walnuts)
- 1/2 C goat cheese, crumbled
- 3 C organic mixed greens
- 1/4 C organic Italian parsley, chopped without stems
- 6 to 8 oz toasted fennel whole grain mustard vinaigrette (recipe link below)
Set oven to 450 degrees. On a parchment lined sheet pan, lay out all your vegetables.with carrots and zucchini on one side and cauliflower, leeks and garlic on the other. Drizzle olive oil over all the vegetables. Sprinkle turmeric and half the salt over cauliflower and garlic and toss. Sprinkle lemon pepper and remaining salt over carrots and zucchini and toss. Make sure all vegetables are in one layer for proper cooking. Place in oven for 18 – 20 minutes. When done, pull out to cool until assembly. On a large platter, begin assembly with greens, then roasted vegetables. Top with pears, pecans, goat cheese and parsley. Drizzle dressing over the top and serve.
TOASTED FENNEL WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
This would be a fabulous accompaniment to a vegetable lentil soup or a curry turkey meatball lentil soup. Serve with a hearty red wine or dark beer.
The addition of apples and dried fruits would give this salad even more texture. Dried cherries or apricots or golden raisins along with a good honey crisp or pink lady apple. I think adding fresh basil or chives or fresh tarragon would take it up a notch or two as well. I’ll probably do this next time. All this sounds too good not to!