Winter is a wonderful time. Earthy, hearty, beautiful root vegetables are in abundance. But what to do with them? I say roast them. I love slightly browned roasted vegetables lightly toasted in olive oil. Straight-up, as a side dish or here, mixed together in a hearty winter salad. This roasted winter vegetable salad hits the nail on the head for any holiday gathering you may be planning with friends and family.
A few things on roasting vegetables everyone should know: roasting certain vegetables actually increases what’s called the bioavailability of the nutrients in them. For example, you get more carotenoids from butternut squash if you roast it, rather than steaming or sautéing it. Cooking vegetables without water takes away fewer nutrients from them. So while raw tends to be very best, roasting leaves more nutrition intact compared to boiling or sautéing. Roasting is also typically the easiest cooking method, drawing out vegetables’ natural sweetness while cutting down the need for excess oil or seasoning.
Some prep work is required in getting the assortment of vegetables–in this case Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and cauliflower–ready to be roasted. But that is as hard as it gets with this recipe. You can whip up the apple cider-honey vinaigrette while the veggies are roasting, or the day before. Tossed with some simple organic mixed greens (stay away from Romaine still), and you have a lovely seasonal salad guaranteed to please just about anyone. For holiday prep, I get all my vegetables ready the day prior so that all I need to do is roast them off.
Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad With Apple Cider-Honey Vinaigrette
- For the Roasted Vegetables:
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 5 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 1 small cauliflower head, cut into small florets
- 2 shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- black pepper, to taste
- For the Vinaigrette:
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
- 4 cups mixed baby greens
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- Step 2 For the Vegetables: Place the butternut squash and Brussels sprouts on one sheet pan, place the cauliflower, shallots and garlic on another. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil on each sheet pan. Season each with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some black pepper to taste. Using your hands, gently toss the vegetables to coat evenly with oil. Place in the oven and roast, till tender, rotating the sheet pans once, for about 20-25 minutes. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly.
- Step 3 For the Vinaigrette: While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, add the apple cider vinegar, honey and salt. Mix well. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Step 4 To serve, Place the mixed baby greens in a large serving bowl. Add the cooled roasted vegetables. Drizzle with the apple cider vinaigrette and gently toss. Serve immediately.