Banish Your Winter Woes With This Hearty Salad

Photo: Courtesy of Crunchy Radish.
We all know that we're supposed to eat our greens, but in the winter it's not always appealing to crunch and munch on cold, crisp vegetables. Our bodies naturally gravitate towards warm and hearty dishes during the colder months, to increase our body temperature and also make us feel comforted. Mother Nature also has her way of letting us know what we should be eating this time of year. Juicy tomatoes, water-rich zucchini, and lettuces are nowhere to be seen at the farmers' markets; durable root vegetables and hearty greens dominate the scene.

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This winter salad pays tribute to all those ugly, imperfect, hearty, and deeply nourishing root vegetables — and pairs them with baby kale and parsley for some vibrancy. Zesty lemon and nutty aged manchego complement with some lightness and balance. Embrace these warming and filling meals with a keen sense that sunny days are growing increasingly near. 

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Photo: Courtesy of Crunchy Radish.

Winter Vegetable Salad
This salad can serve as a substantial main or filling side, and works well served warm or at room temperature. 

Ingredients
For The Salad
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 beets, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 sunchokes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 red onion, skin removed and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil 
Pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups baby kale
1/4 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
4 oz raw aged Manchego cheese, crumbled (optional)

For The Chili Honey Vinaigrette
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp chili honey or honey
1/4 tsp chili flakes 

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Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F. On a parchment-paper-lined sheet tray, toss the carrots, parsnips, beets, sunchokes, and red onion with the rosemary, coconut, or olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, and a good grinding of black pepper. Cook for 35-40 minutes or until just tender. Toss the vegetables, rotate the pan, and increase the temperature of the oven to 450 °F — and cook for another 10 minutes, to allow a crunchy crust to form on the vegetables.

2. While the vegetables cook, combine the salad dressing ingredients in a jar and shake or whisk in a bowl.

3. Spoon 2 tablespoons of dressing into the bottom of the bowl. Add kale, and gently toss with your hands. Add roasted vegetables, and toss again with your hands to combine. (Using your hands prevents the vegetables from breaking apart). Top with crumbled manchego, parsley, and additional dressing, if you wish.        

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