From my November 2021 Times Union story. Read it here.
There’s always a salad on our Thanksgiving table and this year, I’m combining all the root vegetables I can gather up at the market and spreading them, roasted, over salad greens. The important thing is to be sure to cut everything to the same size, so it all roasts evenly. I absolutely love the little morsels of sweet, caramelized shallots sitting alongside earthy veggies. Their mellow onion flavor (kind of like getting a mini shot of French onion soup in each bite) is really good, so don’t leave them out. The dressing on this salad is an easy puree of olive oil, lemon and avocado, along with a bit of herb. Roast the vegetables and make the salad dressing the day before Thanksgiving, then assemble and dress it before the big event. Tiny bits of crispy, brined capers add an unexpected pop.
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Crispy Capers
3 beets, peeled and quartered
10 shallot bulbs, trimmed and peeled (and sliced in half if large)
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
1 bunch radishes, trimmed and halved
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
4 cups baby salad greens
2 heaping tablespoons capers, drained on paper towels
½ cup olive oil
Creamy Avocado Dressing:
Creamy Avocado Dressing (recipe follows)
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Prepare the vegetables, ensuring they are all evenly sized. Place the cut vegetables in a large bowl and toss with just enough olive oil to coat each piece (about 3 tablespoons). Spread a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and arrange them on the paper. Move the pieces around, placing the cut side down and ensuring there is a bit of space between each piece. Use two baking sheets if necessary. Roast for 30 minutes, or until fork-tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat the ½ cup oil in a skillet set over a medium flame. Carefully add the capers and cook until they’re lightly browned and crisp. Drain on a paper towel.
- To serve, Toss the lettuce with ⅓ cup dressing and spread out on a serving plate. Arrange the room-temperature vegetables over the greens, add the walnuts, top with the capers and drizzle extra dressing over top.
- Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Makes about 1 cup
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup water, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 very ripe avocado, 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon (or 1 teaspoon dried), ½ teaspoon kosher salt, Cracked black pepper
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree until creamy. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Can be made a day ahead. Keeps tightly wrapped, in a glass container, for 3 days.