Try This: Roasted Fall Vegetable Salad

My friend Rachel at Little Chef Big Appetite dared me to bring this recipe to life.  She must know about my obsession with roasted vegetables.  Challenge accepted, I told her.  Well, Rachel, here it is!


The recipe was pretty simple, and also easy to make look beautiful.  What's more--it tasted great.  The mustard vinaigrette really did it for me; I had plenty left over, so I was able to use it on salads all week long.  Delish!  I'll definitely keep that on hand as a sweeter alternative to my bottle of balsamic vinegar.  The recipe (along with photos far more beautiful than mine) can be found at The Luna Cafe.  Here's my re-creation, following their instructions but with slight changes in vegetables.



Roasted Fall Vegetable Salad with Warm Goat Cheese & Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 2 dinner-size salads

Ingredients


Vegetables
  • 1 lb small potatoes (Yukon Gold preferred; I used russet and sweet potatoes because I had them on hand), cut into 4-8 wedges, depending on size.
  • 1/4 butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into wedges about the same size as potatoes
  • 2 sweet red bell peppers, cored, seeded, ribbed, and cut into wedges, likewise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Goat Cheese
  • Two 1-inch thick slices of fresh, mild goat cheese, from a log 2-inches in diameter
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp fine dry bread crumbs or panko
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salad
  • 2 large handfuls of baby salad greens (I used baby spinach)

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

  • (See below)


Instructions



1. To prepare vegetables for roasting, in a large bowl, toss together potatoes, squash, pepper, rosemary, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper.


2. Arrange vegetables evenly on an edged baking sheet.  Roast at 350 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender and beginning to caramelize. Remove from the oven and let cool.  (Note: this can be done ahead of time by cooking, refrigerating, and then bringing back to room temp before serving.)


3. Prepare the vinaigrette (below) and refrigerate.

4. To prepare the goat cheese, in a small bowl, whisk together flour, bread crumbs, and salt.  

5. Just before serving, coat each slice of goat cheese in the flour mixture. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a small skillet and saute goat cheese for about 2 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned and warmed through.


6. While cheese is cooking, toss the salad greens in a large bowl with enough of the vinaigrette to coat each leaf.  (There WILL be vinaigrette left over, and you WILL be thankful for this.)


7. Remove the goat cheese from the pan and pat lightly with paper towel to remove excess oil. 

8. Arrange the warm goat cheese in the middle of a large plate (or one on each of two plates, depending on how you're serving the dish), and then arranged the dressed baby greens around them


9. Quickly toss the vegetables with a little vinaigrette and arrange atop the greens. 


10. Optional: Top with candied walnuts or pecans, black pepper, and a sprig of fresh Rosemary for garnish.  Serve immediately!


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Well, there you have it!  Rachel dared me, I did it, and now I dare YOU!!!  Either make the whole dish, or, at the very least, make your own honey mustard vinaigrette. It'll last you all week long!


Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Makes ~1 cup. 

Ingrdients:
  • 9 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey or agave
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Instructions:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey mustard, garlic, and salt until emulsified.
  2. Taste and balance the sweetness (honey or agave), acidity (vinegar), and salt.  (I played with agave for a while, to even out the strong vinegar taste.  Take your time to get it right!)
  3. Pour vinaigrette into a squeeze bottle, cap, and refrigerate. 



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