FUNKY FRESH RECIPES FROM ZHEE ZHEE’S SECRET STASH
Recipe #1 : Roasted Roots Salad
I created this salad mainly because I was getting invited to potluck barbecue parties, and was completely grossed out when people would show up with a container of store-bought potato salad.
I am not a fan of mayonnaise, first off. And second, when I know I am going to chow down on a bunch of grilled meat, I feel like I should be accompanying that meat with a side dish of something flavorful and nutrient rich. I’m sorry, but a bunch of boiled potatoes covered in mayonnaise is not cutting it.
So I have replaced mayo with a tahini herb dressing, taken out ¾ of the potatoes and replaced them with other healthful root vegetables. Even better, I changed the flavorless textureless cooking method of boiling and replaced it with my favorite technique for adding flavor, texture and retaining nutrients….roasting. Feel free to experiment with a variety of root vegetables.
Root Vegetables are this month’s featured super star ingredients.
They grow underground, where they are able to absorb more minerals and nutrients from the soil. Many of them have edible skin that not only tastes good when roasted, but adds that extra bit of fiber to your plate. They are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates (your body’s main source of energy), and most have a significant amount of vitamin C and Vitamin A, as well as trace minerals like phosphorus.
Under the category of root vegetables you will find: tubers (potatoes, sunchoke, yams), tap roots (beets, carrots, jicama, radishes, parnsips) and tuberous roots (sweet potatoes, yucca), bulbs and rhizomes (garlic, onions, ginger, shallots), and corms (taro, celeriac). Some, like jicama, carrot and radish are great raw. But, I love the texture and flavor of other roots when roasted.
- Olive oil for roasting
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. chili flakes
- 2 c. each medium diced carrot, potato, turnip and parsnip
- 1 red bell pepper, small diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced to a paste
- 1 c. red onion, small diced
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- Handful of chopped toasted nuts
- 1 c. crumbled feta cheese or parmesan
- 3 TB sesame tahini
- 1 TB Dijon mustard
- 2 TB pure maple syrup
- Juice from 1 lemon
- ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
- ¼ c. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- Handful of fresh parsley, minced
- 2 TB chopped chives
- Toss root veggies, garlic and onions with salt, chili flakes and enough olive oil to very lightly coat each piece. Spread out on a sheet pan, and roast in a 425 degree oven until crispy on the edges and fork tender (approximately 45 minutes.)
- Puree the dressing ingredients in a blender, and add a few fat pinches of salt. While the blender is running, drizzle in the oil.
- Toss roasted roots with dressing, bell peppers and green onions. Serve chilled or warm, topped with cheese, nuts and your favorite greens (baby spinach or arugula).
- **great additions for crunch: fresh corn, finely chopped broccoli