Roasted fall vegetable salad with hazelnuts and chèvre

Roasted fall vegetable salad with hazelnuts and chèvre

This time of year, I really enjoy roasting root and winter vegetables - beets, butternut squash and sweet potatoes have long been favourites of mine. I do love their sweet taste, but what draws me in most is their vibrant and electric colours. The warm hues are welcome contrasts to the increasingly frequent grey skies of London and the dwindling daylight hours that indicate we're headed for winter. 

Roasted fall vegetable salad with hazelnuts and chevre | Beloved Kitchen
Roasted fall vegetable salad with hazelnuts and chevre | Beloved Kitchen
Roasted fall vegetable salad with hazelnuts and chevre | Beloved Kitchen
Roasted fall vegetable salad with hazelnuts and chevre | Beloved Kitchen
Roasted fall vegetable salad with hazelnuts and chevre | Beloved Kitchen
Roasted fall vegetable salad with hazelnuts and chevre | Beloved Kitchen

Roasted root and winter vegetables are the stars of this hearty fall salad. The dish takes its golden and pink tones from heaps of roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, beets and carrots. It also gets green plant power from a healthy portion of wild rocket, which could easily be substituted for different kinds of sturdy greens (I could see curly kale, lacinato kale, radicchio, escarole or endives also working well in this recipe). Combining brightly-coloured vegetables rich in vitamin C (such as sweet potatoes) with dark leafy greens aids the absorption of iron from the greens - an added bonus for anyone on a vegetarian or vegan diet. For protein, the salad is topped with toasted hazelnuts and crumbled chèvre/goats cheese (which is of course optional - simply omit it to make this recipe vegan). This salad makes an ideal light vegetarian main or side dish.

Roasted fall vegetable salad with hazelnuts and chevre | Beloved Kitchen
Roasted fall vegetable salad with hazelnuts and chevre | Beloved Kitchen
Roasted fall vegetable salad with hazelnuts and chevre | Beloved Kitchen

It's also a great make-ahead option for a gathering or dinner party. The vegetables can be roasted ahead of time and the salad assembled just before serving. I like to roast vegetables on the weekend to have handy during the week - and this can certainly be done for this recipe. For an easy desk lunch, I'll divide the roasted vegetables between storage containers, and top each with the chèvre/goats cheese followed by the greens (adding the greens last ensures that the salad won't get soggy). I bring the toasted hazelnuts and salad dressing in small separate containers, and combine everything just before eating. 

-xo KA

Roasted fall vegetable salad with hazelnuts and chèvre

This salad makes a great light lunch or dinner that can easily be made vegan by omitting the chèvre/goats cheese. I like to keep the beets separate from the other vegetables while prepping and roasting to preserve their beautiful bright orange tones - this is of course optional. The roasted vegetables can be made ahead and the salad assembled just before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small butternut squash (or 1/2 large), seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped into 1-inch rounds
  • 4 medium beets, sliced into eighths
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
     
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp demerara sugar
  • 1 scant tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 5-6 large handfuls wild rocket
  • 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 1 brick crumbled chèvre/goats cheese, optional (approx. 150 grams)

Method:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius | 390 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots. Toss with 3 tbsp olive oil, a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. In a separate smaller bowl, combine the beets with 1 tbsp olive oil, a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and toss to coat. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a lined baking tray and roast for 30-35 minutes, until golden and tender. Add the hazelnuts to the oven for the last 5 minutes of baking on a small tray. Keep an eye on the hazelnuts to ensure they don't burn. When the vegetables and hazelnuts are ready, remove both trays from the oven, set aside and allow to cool completely. Coarsely chop the cooled hazelnuts.

While the vegetables cool, prepare the vinaigrette by combining the olive oil, cider vinegar, dijon, demerara sugar, sea salt and freshly ground pepper in a small bowl or jar. Whisk until emulsified.

When you are ready to assemble the salad, place the wild rocket in a large serving dish or bowl (or alternatively on smaller plates to serve). Top with the roasted vegetables and very gently toss the salad using your fingers. Garnish with the toasted hazelnuts and crumbled chèvre (if using). Pour over as much of the vinaigrette as desired.

Serves four to six as a main, more as a side.

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