My friend and fellow blogger Liz Reuven (www.kosherlikeme.com) is going to have an especially festive Thanksgiving this year. Her son married his college sweetheart last August, so there’s a very welcome new family member at the table.
Liz’s new daughter-in-law is health-conscious. So is Liz, whose blog focuses on good restaurants where people who are kosher or vegetarian can find delicious things to eat. Both women bond as they spend time together finding those places.
Recently Liz asked me if I could come up with a salad for their Thanksgiving meal. Something that was healthy, seasonal, easy-to-make and nutritious and that also had eye appeal.
She wants to wow her new daughter-in-law.
I turned to the brightest, late-fall veggies that are available at farmer’s markets and also every supermarket: beets and winter squash. The rich red and orange are a stunning contrast of color and roasting these already sweet vegetables makes them even sweeter and more rich tasting and delicious.
I decided to mix in some watercress (you could use arugula) as a bitter contrast to the veggies, and included chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts) to add a crunchy texture.
Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Beet and Winter Squash Salad
2 large beets
1 small butternut squash
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 small bunch watercress
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim the beets, cutting away the greens, if any, and discarding any hard, fibrous parts of the stem. Wash and drain the greens and use them for other purposes. Scrub the beets, wrap them in aluminum foil and roast for 50-60 minutes or until they are tender. Peel the beets when they are cool enough to handle. Cut the beets into bite size pieces and place in a bowl. About halfway through the beet roasting, cut the squash in half, scoop the seeds and peel the halves. Cut the halves into chunks. Rub the chunks with a film of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and place on a baking sheet. Place the squash into the oven (with the beets). Cook the squash for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Remove the squash chunks and let cool. Add them to the beets. Place the hazelnuts on a small baking sheet, place them in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, remove from the oven and set aside. Wash and dry the watercress. Remove the stems and chop the leaves coarsely. Add to the bowl and toss the ingredients gently. Mix the remaining olive oil, white wine vinegar and rosemary and pour over the ingredients. Let rest for about 10 minutes, place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste. Scatter the nuts on top.
Makes 6 servings