After entering a new decade of life at what felt slightly faster than the speed reached at the event horizon, and a whirlwind holiday season capped off with a planned-but-not-so-soon move, YA GIRL IS BACK ON THAT BEAST COAST! It was not without it’s turmoil, least of which was needing four locals (one of which had only two teeth), to help my front wheel drivin’, snow-virgin of a car up a tundra-whippin,’ iced over hill a mere 50 miles from my destination. Now that I’m semi-settled, I am at once thrilled and terrified, comfortable and yet out-of-water, and OHHHHH SO READY to rejoin the ranks of my NYC-based tribe, though I’ll be hanging this side of the Hudson until I can plant my roots deeeeeep in the soils of it’s valley.
Leaving the land of perpetual spring has my palette a bit confused, however. In the Bay I tended towards brighter flavors that us northerners look forward to in the warmer months; it was never too cold for them and the scene abounded. Now that I’m back in thick sock and bean boot country, I’m feelin’ those hearty, earthy flavors that warm you from the inside. Thus, when an impromptu dinner party arose along the trek, I dreamt up a salad that suited.
The resulting Roasted Winter Salad is warm, smoky and satisfying, great as a stand-alone lunch, a dinner side, or a dinner salad if you added a protein (I’d go with flank steak or a tempeh-portabello mix for my vegans).
Roasted Winter Salad
For the Salad:
- 4cups Arugula
- 1/2cup red quinoa, cooked
- 1/4cup ricotta salata, grated
For the Dressing:
- 1garlic clove
- 3roma tomatoes, broiled
- 3tablespoons sherry vin
- 1tablespoon honey
- 1/3cup olive oil
- 1/2teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
For the Roasted Vegetables:
- 1zucchini, 1/4'd lengthwise and diced
- 2carrots, 1" diced on the bias
- 1/2teaspoon salt
- 1/2teaspoon chili powder
- 1teaspoon cumin
- 1/8teaspoon cayanne
- 1 1/2tablespoons Olive oil
- turn the broiler on high. Slice the tomatoes in half, drizzle lightly with olive oil and broil the tomatoes, open face down until their skin looked charred and their flesh is soft, approx. 7-10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400*. Toss the diced carrot and zucchini with olive oil and spices. Roast on a foil lined sheet pan for 20 minutes, tossing half way through.
- While the vegetables roast, combine all of the dressing ingredients but the olive oil in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, drizzling in the olive oil. Taste at this point and adjust the seasonings (if it's too acidic, add a bit more salt and oil, if it's too salty, add a bit more acid and oil, etc. it's a balancing act!)
- Once the vegetables are out of the oven, toss the arugula and about 1/4c of the dressing together with the quinoa. Plate the arugula, add the vegetables on top once they've slightly cooled, shave a healthy amount of ricotta salata onto the top and serve.