Thursday, January 17, 2019
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A Hearty Salad for a Month of Healthy Eating

A Hearty Salad for a Month of Healthy Eating

NYT Syndicate
Current dietary wisdom dictates that to mitigate all the indulgences of the holidays, January becomes the month of eating salad.
Everywhere you look, you'll see recipes for satisfying salads for dinner, portable salads for lunch ” even breakfast salads to start the day, if your need for bodily atonement runs that deep.
This is all good in theory, but in terms of seasonality, it can be challenging. What's the best way to eat salad in winter when lettuces and other greens are at their wilting worst?
The solution is to cut back on the fragile leafy greens in your salad bowl, and ramp up vegetables of a more robust order.
Roots and squashes; mushrooms; and sturdy stalks and bulbs like celery, fennel and onions are viable, easy-to-find options. Roasting not only makes them sweet and wonderfully tender, it also gives you the perfect excuse to crank up the oven, something you'd be hard pressed to do for your average bowl of arugula.
In this dinner-worthy salad, a combination of roasted golden beets, radishes and winter squash does the heavy lifting, while the green matter ” herbs, scallions and fris`e (or whatever decent-looking lettuce you can find) ” acts more as a bright, refreshing garnish. This is all rounded out by a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch, and pecorino cheese for a salty tang.
Although in general I adore the sweetness of roasted red beets, golden ones are better for this particular salad. Earthy and savoury, golden beets are a more sympathetic partner to winter squash, which becomes deeply caramelized and velvety in the oven's high heat. Red beets can be almost cloying here, but if they're all you have, squeeze on some extra lime juice to offset the added sweetness.
No matter which beets you use, the dressing ” an assertive mix of lime juice, anchovies and garlic ” adds just the right pungency to perk up all the honeyed flavours, especially those of the squash. And note that if you can't find delicata squash, other winter varieties such as honey nut, acorn, butternut or sweet dumpling make fine substitutes.
With its vibrant mix of colours, flavours and textures, this is a salad you'll want to make all winter long ” whether you're trying to balance the cookies of December or just craving a little brightness as the winter creeps on.
Roasted golden beet and winter squash salad
Yield: 3 to 4 servings
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

For the salad:
3 medium golden beets, peeled and sliced into 1-inch-thick wedges
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more as needed
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
3 sprigs thyme
1 bunch radishes, trimmed and halved if large
1 large delicata squash (1 to 1 1/4 pounds), halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch slices, or substitute sweet dumpling or another winter variety
1/2 cup cilantro or mint leaves
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 medium head fris`e, torn into bite-size pieces (3 to 4 cups), or substitute arugula
Shaved Pecorino Toscano, manchego or Parmesan, for serving
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 clove garlic, grated on a Microplane or minced
2 anchovies, minced (optional)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together beets, 2 tablespoons oil, orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, bay leaf and thyme. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, toss radishes with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Flip beets and scatter radishes around them. Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees and roast uncovered until everything is golden and tender, 18 to 25 minutes longer, stirring once or twice.
3. Meanwhile, on a separate rimmed baking sheet, toss squash with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roast in oven along with beets and radishes, until browned, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through.
4. Prepare the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together orange juice, lime juice, garlic, anchovies and salt. Let sit for a minute, then whisk in oil.
5. As warm vegetables come out of the oven, toss them in the bowl with the dressing and let cool. Once cool, fold in cilantro, scallions and pumpkin seeds.
6. In a medium bowl, toss fris`e with olive oil and salt to taste, then transfer to serving plate. Top with roasted vegetables, and cover generously with cheese.

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