Thursday, May 9, 2013

Roasted Spring Vegetable Salad

Roasted Spring Vegetable Salad

This is a lovely salad for a spring bicycle picnic, or a rooftop garden potluck, or just a rainy, gray May day. In fact, with its sunny lemon dressing and pink pickled radishes, it's the perfect pick-me-up for a wet day (or week) like the one we're having in New York.
I was inspired to make this salad by Smitten Kitchen's Spring Salad with New Potatoes, but it's a pretty different adaptation, with different cooking methods and pickled items, and a lemon-y dressing. 
This salad lends itself well to substitutions, I started with what was in season locally in my area, and you should feel free to do the same. 

I love home pickling and it can be incredibly easy if you're not trying to preserve the pickles for months.

Radishes and onions both make great quick pickles, they start to taste vinegary and brined after just an hour or two. These only pickled for the amount of time it took me to make dinner.

Fill halfway with apple cider vinegar. You could probably make these with white vinegar too, if it's all you had.

Yes, I am quick-pickling in an old tahini jar. 

Any sort of potato will do for this, but new potatoes cook quickly, and their roasted flesh is soft and creamy. You don't need tri-colored potatoes either, but it does make the salad more colorful.

chop up your asparagus into one inch segments. Note the radishes pickling away in the background.

Some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and they're ready to roast.

While the vegetables roast, whisk together your dressing ingredients.

Roast until the potatoes are golden outside and creamy inside, and the asparagus is softened.

Mmmm, lightly pickled goodness.

Colorful and delicious. Perfect picnic food.

Roasted Spring Vegetable Salad Recipe

Roasted Vegetables:
1 Bunch (approximately 1 pound) Asparagus
1.5-2 lbs New or Peewee Potatoes
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Pickled Vegetables:
How many pickled vegetables you make is up to you, the amount I've listed here is probably 2x what you need for this salad, so feel free to 1/2 it, but consider making extra- they make great add ons to normal salads too!
8-9 small Pearl Onions
5-7 Radishes
Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp Stone Ground Mustard
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
salt and pepper to taste

First, make your pickles. If you don't like pickles, then you could just slice the radish and onion thinly and add them raw, but I like pickles. I love pickles. 
Peel your pearl onions and thinly slice your radishes, then add the whole onions and sliced radishes to a jar. Fill halfway with apple cider vinegar, add the honey, then fill the rest of the way with water. Add the salt and pepper, cap, make sure it's not leaky then give it a light shake and pop it in the fridge. 

Preheat the oven to 400 F
Cut the potatoes small, if using larger potatoes, 1/2 inch cubes, if you're using little peewee potatoes like I did, cut the small ones in half and the big ones in quarters. Toss with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and pour onto 1/2 a lightly oiled jelly roll pan.
Cut the tough ends off the asparagus and slice into 1" segments. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and pour onto the other half of the lightly oiled jelly roll pan.
Roast for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are golden on the outside and soft inside, and asparagus has softened. Remove from oven and set jelly roll on cooling rack, or near window, to cool vegetables to room temperature. 

While the vegetables roast or cool, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl or a measuring cup whisk together all ingredients. Whisk again immediately before using.

Remove 4-7 pearl onions from the brine and cut into thirds. Once the roasted vegetables have cooled, combine the pickled and roasted vegetables in a bowl and slowly add the dressing while mixing the salad, until everything has a light coating. 
Sprinkle with coarse salt (or regular salt) and fresh ground pepper, and serve.

Roasted Vegetables: sunchokes, beets, brussel sprouts, or summer squash could all work well as roasted components of this salad.
Pickled: thinly sliced cucumber, thinly cut shallots or yellow onion, leek, or spring onion
Raw: you could add raw components to this as well, such as thinly sliced carrots, or even apple.

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