My schedule has been crazy lately and I’ve been living more or less on take out. It’s amazing how a diet like that leaves me craving vegetables! When I had recent a Saturday all to myself, I knew I wanted to make a “real” meal full of veggies.

Variations on this roasted root vegetable and blue cheese vinaigrette dish have been flying through my head ever since I saw something similar in this month’s issue of Food+Wine. I loved how colorful it was and also how it used both the roots and the greens of the beets. But more than that, I loved how it’s made from ingredients that can be found at the farmer’s market throughout winter – well after the growing season is over.

In typical Lauren fashion, I made a few changes to the original recipe – both because that’s just what I do and to accommodate the ingredients that I could find (the beet selection was lacking and I was craving something stinkier than goat cheese).

The only word I can think of to describe the flavor of the resulting dish is healthy, but I mean that in the best way. The greens taste bitter and cleansing, and roasting the carrots leaves them with an intense sweetness that i love. Parsnips are an often overlooked vegetable, but I loved the peppery flavor that they provide.

This is definitely a dish I’ll be going back to all winter. It’s delicious on its own as a light meal, but also worked well on the side of the roast beef that I served it with. With a few tweaks here and there, I think it could  be interesting over pasta or with brown rice, and maybe even with a sturdy fish like snapper. Ooh, and over soft polenta! The possibilities are endless.

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Roasted Root Vegetables with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Yield 4-6 servings

This colorful dish highlights some of the best flavors of the season – bitter greens, sweet carrots, peppery parsnips, and earthy beets. A simple vinaigrette adds zip and ties it all together. Use a soft, mild cheese like a Buttermilk Blue so the vegetables aren’t overpowered.  Serve this as a light meal or as a side dish – it’s a delicious compliment to rare roast beef.

Adapted from Food + Wine’s Roasted Beets and Carrots with Goat Cheese Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds (4 medium) Red Beets, roots peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges, greens chopped
  • 4 Carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 4 Parsnips, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, quartered
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 2 ounces Blue Cheese, crumbled

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Toss the beets with 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in one third of an oven proof skillet. Repeat with the carrots and parsnips. Scatter the garlic over the vegetables.
  3. Set the skillet over high heat until you hear it begin to sizzle, about 5 minutes. Cover and transfer to the oven. Roast for 35 minutes, or until tender.
  4. In a second skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add the beet greens and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  5. While the vegetables roast, whisk together the vinegar, remaining oil, and half of the shallot. Stir in the cheese.
  6. Toss together the vegetables and the greens. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the dish and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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