Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

Nothing shows off the great taste of roasted root vegetables like his salad, a combination of roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips and beets served warm with a shallot vinaigrette, toasted pecans, scallions and dried cranberries.
  • [b]Salad[/b]
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 5 parsnips
  • 3 large beets, cleaned with stem ends sliced off
  • 1/4 cup olive oil,
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
  • 4 scallions, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Kosher salt[br]
  • [b]Dressing[/b]
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 3/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400° F. Line a backing sheet with aluminum foil and spray foil with cooking oil spray.
  2. Cut three squares of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the a beet. Spray one side of each square with cooking spray.
  3. Prick the beets several times with a fork. Place each beet, cut side down, in the center of the foil square and wrap the them, twisting the excess foil around the root. This method should give you a flat end on which to rest the beet and a convenient handle to move them in and out of the oven. Place them directly on the center of the oven rack but not touching. Roast for 1 hour.
  4. While the beets are roasting, prepare the sweet potatoes and parsnips. Peel the potatoes and slice off the narrow ends. Cut them into 1/2-inch slices. Take each of the slices and cut of just enough of the rounded edges to form a square. Slice the squares into 1/2-inch strips. Then cut across the strips in 1/2- inch increments to form the dice shaped pieces. Peel the parsnip and cut them in half lengthwise. Turn each half on its flat side and cut it lengthwise again. Align the four quartered strips together and cut across in 1/2-inch increments.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes and parsnips with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and the rosemary and mix thoroughly. Spread the mixture evenly out across the foil lined baking sheet.
  6. When finished roasting, remove the beets from the oven and set them aside to cool for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, put the potatoes and parsnips into the oven and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring them every 10 minutes to prevent sticking.
  7. When the beets have cooled enough to handle, gently peel the outer skin with your fingers or the edge of a paring knife. Slice off the root end and, using the same method as used with the sweet potatoes, dice the beets into 1/2-inch cubes and set them aside in medium-sized bowl.
  8. To prepare the dressing, combine the vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar and salt in a bowl. Very slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Then add in the shallots.
  9. When the potatoes and parsnips are done, allow them to cool for about 10-15 minutes and then transfer them to a large bowl. In 3 or 4 increments, slowly toss them with the dressing, reserving about 2-3 tablespoon of the dressing for the beets. The potatoes and parsnips will absorb most of the dressing. Add in the scallions, pecans and cranberries and mix thoroughly.
  10. Add the remaining dressing to the beets in the separate bowl and toss well to coat. Gently fold the beets into potato-parsnip mixture. This method will also help to prevent the beets from staining the other veggies.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The salad will keep for several days in the refrigerator, but I recommend allowing leftovers to get to room temperature before serving.)


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