ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLE SALAD
This is a flexible recipe, but requires your attention as you roast each vegetable until it is just cooked. (Try for “al dente” – that appealing state between too crunchy and too soft.)
You can vary ingredients and amount used by produce availability and the number of servings you need. This is a very colorful dish, especially if you leave the beets separate until just before serving (otherwise, all the vegetables turn red).
Potatoes* (Red skin or blue potatoes add a lot of color)
Parsnips* (or turnips*)
Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper
Lettuce leaves* (optional)
For all ingredients except beets, skin and cut into bite-size cubes and toss each with a small amount of olive oil before placing on cooking sheets. (Do not mix the vegetables all up together; keep separate on the pan.) Season with salt and pepper. Put sheets into 375 to 400 degree oven, and check for tenderness of each vegetable as they roast. (Depending on the size of your cube, start checking after 20 minutes.)
Each vegetable may take a different amount of time. Remove each as it becomes tender. (Do not overcook as this will make the salad mushy and unappealing).
While the cubed vegetables roast in the oven, wash beets and place in boiling water. Cook until just tender to the prick of a knife or fork. Pour off water and let beets cool down. (Alternatively, you can roast cubed beets. Keep them entirely separate from everything else to prevent color from staining.)
In the meantime take the rest of the cooked vegetable pieces and put them together in a large bowl. Add honey to taste.
If you boiled the beets, once they have cooled, skin and chop the beets into small cubes. Put beet cubes in a separate container and put all in the refrigerator to cool down.
As the veggies cool, leave top of containers open slightly so the condensation does not make the vegetables mushy. The salad can be made up to two days ahead and not lose its appeal.
One hour prior to serving, take beets and other vegetables from refrigerator and allow them to warm up a bit. Right before serving, toss all vegetables together.
This salad looks great with a little chopped parsley as a garnish, or serve atop leaves of lettuce, and drizzle with a small amount of your favorite dressing (optional).