Roasted Vegetable & Kale Salad

We're halfway through November and Thanksgiving is a week away! How did the year go by so quickly and how are we going to put together a Thanksgiving spread that doesn't end up just looking beige? Don't get me wrong - Thanksgiving is absolutely my favorite holiday of the year, but so many of our favorites (turkey, gravy, dressing …) look some shade of brown, white, tan, or beige. Of course, we can always add a scoop or three of cranberry sauce, but let's try to keep it from doing the heavy lifting this year, shall we? Let's turn to the perfect fall side: a warm Roasted Vegetable & Kale Salad.

Kale is either over or under loved. There are those people who put it in everything — raw salads to sandwiches to smoothies. First, it's not that great. Second, kale is really hard to digest in its fresh-from-the-garden form. You either need to massage it with oil or a good dressing or, better yet, give it some heat. But before you wander away from kale, remember that's it's a healthy green and stands up beautifully to the cooking techniques of the season - it can be roasted, tossed into a pot of hot soup, and — as is done here — tossed with other veggies freshly roasted. The heat from the vegetables brings the kale to just the right place of providing a perfect foundation to this salad.

This hearty salad is really perfect for a good Thanksgiving spread or any plate wanting a little something special. It's fantastic with roasted turkey, the vegetables can roast alongside a bird easily, the dressing and kale can be prepped in advance, and it brings a lot of color and texture to a plate that sometimes lacks both. Hooray for kale!

Roasted Vegetable & Kale Salad

  • 6-8 baby beets, trimmed, peeled & quartered
  • 6-8 small carrots, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • Handful grape tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chopped kale
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 oz. goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 425° F. In a large bowl, combine the beets, carrots, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and salt and pepper. Add the vegetables to a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the chopped kale in the same bowl where the beets and carrots were. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and massage it into the kale leaves with your hands until the leaves are bright green and tender, about 2-5 minutes.

In a small resealable jar, combine the ingredients for the dressing (lemon juice through mustard). Remove the vegetables from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable mixture to the bowl with the kale and toss with the dressing until well combined. Add the walnuts and goat cheese and toss well to coat. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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