I'm not one for salads. I really love vegetables, but I just don't usually like them in salad form.
This past shabbat I was asked to make a salad for the dinner I was attending, so I decided to make a salad that I would actually enjoy. I wanted to make a salad celebrating the season with beautiful fresh produce that I picked up at Machane Yehuda market.
Roasting vegetables brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetable and any time I make any type of roasted veg I have to make double the amount because I eat about half the tray before it makes it to the final dish.
The hearty spinach has a slight bitterness and stands up nicely to the sweet vinaigrette and the roasted vegetables.
The combination of the seasonal fruit and roasted beets and squash really makes this salad perfect for the Autumn and Winter seasons.
Roasted Vegetable Spinach Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
1 large beet
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Tbs olive oil
12 oz. baby spinach leaves, washed
2/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup candied pecans, chopped
Blood orange vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C
Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper
Place the beet on a piece of aluminum foil and wrap tightly. Place on prepared sheet pan. Roast in preheated oven for about an hour. Carefully unwrap the beet and if a knife easily slips into the beet then it is tender. When the beet is cool enough to handle, take a paring knife and peel the beet, the skin should fall right off. Cut the beet into 1/4 inch cubes and set aside.
Toss the butternut squash cubes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in a single layer on prepared sheet pan. Roast for 25 minutes in preheated oven until tender. Allow the squash to cool and set aside.
In a large bowl place the spinach, persimmon, pomegranate seeds, pecans, and roasted vegetables. Pour in the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Place on serving platter and enjoy immediately.
Blood Orange Vinaigrette
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp silan (date honey)
1/4 cup olive oil
Zest the orange and then roll on the cutting board this helps release the juice so you can get the most juice out the orange when you squeeze it. You will need about 1/4 cup of juice which is what you can get from 1/2 of the orange. Cut the orange in half and juice the orange into a jar with a tight fitting lid making sure not to get any seeds in the dressing.
Add 1/4 tsp orange zest to the juice, and the rest of the ingredients. Put the top on the jar and vigorously shake the vinaigrette to combine.
*If you can't find blood oranges you can use regular oranges or even bottled orange juice, but fresh is always best.