Roasted Vegetable Salad with Honey Dressing

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If it is winter where you live, we can commiserate about the fact that in-season and tempting produce is non-existent this time of year.  Our tomatoes are flavorless and even the apples are looking sad at this point.  My go-to salad involves greens and whatever veggies I can chop and toss in the bowl, but I have to be creative this time of year when tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, beans, etc. aren't tempting me at the store.

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Enter the Roasted Vegetable Salad.  It is the perfect time of year to take advantage of root and other vegetables that really shine when roasted.  You could make this salad with whatever you have around to roast (I'd consider adding Brussels sprouts and beets or substitute them for the potatoes), but the one ingredient I wouldn't leave out is the fennel-  I felt it really made the dish.  The tangy dressing and and some crumbles of Homemade Goat Cheese complete the salad.  An added bonus - the gorgeous colors!  

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Roasted Vegetable Salad with Honey Dressing
Adapted from Sunset Magazine, December 2012

Ingredients
1 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges
1/2 pound orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (often labeled "yams"), peeled and cut into 1-in. chunks
1/2 pound small red thin-skinned potatoes, cut in half
1 medium fennel bulb, ends trimmed and cut into 8 wedges
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-in. chunks
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons good-quality red wine vinegar
2 to 3 tbsp. honey
2 qts. (about 6 oz.) loosely packed mixed salad greens
1 small log or crumbles of goat cheese (or make your own!)

Preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 425°. Toss onion, sweet and red potatoes, fennel, and bell pepper in a large bowl with 3 tbsp. oil and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Transfer vegetables to a rimmed baking sheet.

2.  Roast vegetables until tender and golden, about 40 minutes, turning over halfway through baking time.  About 10 minutes before they're done, sprinkle walnuts on baking sheet with vegetables and toast until golden.

3.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp. oil, the vinegar, honey, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper.

4.  Toss greens in a large bowl with one-quarter of dressing; divide among plates. Let vegetables cool about 5 minutes, then transfer to the large bowl and toss with about half of the remaining dressing; spoon the vegetables and walnuts over the greens.  Garnish each salad with crumbles of goat cheese.  Serve with remaining dressing on the side.

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