Thursday, April 5, 2012
Cooking with Farmscape
Salads aren’t known for being the most satisfying of dishes. However, this mix of roasted root vegetables on a bed of greens gives you a tasty and filling meal. I came up with it after finally having a bunch of our winter root vegetables ready for harvesting at the same time – and as a bonus, they opened up a good deal of space for me to starting planting our summer garden.
The recipe below looks complicated, but don’t let its appearance dissuade you. It mainly describes the prep for the veggies; it’s really helpful to stagger when you start roasting the veggies so they’re all ready at the same time.
8 cups baby arugula (or other salad greens)
6 medium beets
2 cups potatoes
6 medium carrots
12 spears thick asparagus
salt and pepper
your favorite vinaigrette
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Wash all of the root vegetables well. Trim the root and stem ends of the beets, leaving the skin on. Drizzle the beets with olive oil and create a loosely tented packet with foil. Place the foil packet in the oven.
Next chop the potatoes and carrots into 3/4″ cubes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and about 1 tbsp of herbs of your choosing (I used fresh thyme). Spread the veggies in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once the beets have been roasting for about 15 minutes, place the potatoes and carrots in the oven to roast as well.
Prep the asparagus by laying them out in a small baking pan (an 8×8 baking pans works very well). Drizzle the spears with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, then gently roll them back and forth to coat.
Once the root vegetables have been roasting for about 25 minutes, carefully remove the beets – the packets can be oozing bright pink beet juice at this point. The beets should be tender – an easy way to check is that a fork should slide in with little to no resistance. As the beets cool, put the asparagus in to roast for the last 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears; the thicker the spears, the longer they’ll need to roast.
When the asparagus and potato & carrots are done roasting (you’ll be able to tell because the potatoes will be “whistling” and they’ll have a nice, caramelized appearance), take them out of the oven. As they cool off a bit, slip the skins from the cooled off beets with the help of a paper towel. Cut the beets into quarters, and then slices.
On each plate, spread about 2 cups of greens. Top with four spears of asparagus and a quarter of the roasted veggie mix. Dress with your favorite dressing – I found a dijon-aged balsamic vinaigrette particularly delicious (just whisk together about 1 tsp dijon mustard, 2 tbsp balsamic, 2 tbsp olive oil). Serve with a slice of crusty bread – for a treat, I slathered on some ricotta cheese and popped it in the broiler for a few minutes until toasted.