Roasted (Baby) Roots + Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette
We eat roasted beets all the time around here, but it was nice to change it up with a more sophisticated vinaigrette than the usual olive oil-balsamic combo. The roasted shallots were delicious, not that I should be surprised. Everything’s better roasted! Have a vegetable you don’t care for? Try it roasted. Beets. Brussels sprouts. Broccoli. Roast everything.
Deb’s recipe calls for a mix of of root vegetables, including radishes, turnips, and beets. I forgot we had radishes in the fridge, so I used only beets, but left her recipe as is below. I couldn’t find baby root vegetables when I went to the store, so my version didn’t look quite as charming as Deb’s. Still good though.
roasted (baby) roots with sherry-shallot vinaigrette
Everything red beets touch turn to pink, so just remember that as you dig in and mix it all up. And remember that when you prepare this. Unless you wear gloves, your hands will be pretty pink for most of the day. Deb of Smitten Kitchen says this salad has less grain than most grain salads do as the focus was on the root vegetables. Simply add more quinoa if you’d like more grain.
for the salad:
1/2 cup uncooked plain quinoa, rinsed
3 small shallots
1 1/2 pounds mixed root vegetables (including mixed beets, radishes, and turnips), tiny if you can find them and peeled if you can’t, scrubbed, trimmed of all but a bit of stem, and halved or quartered to bite-size pieces
juice of 1/2 a lemon
dab of goat cheese or thick yogurt (optional)
for the dressing:
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, plus more for finishing
2 big pinches of coarse salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Heat oven to 400°F.
Add quinoa, 1 cup water, and a pinch of salt to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to about medium and cook until the quinoa has absorbed the water, 10 to 15 minutes. Cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Peel shallots and place in a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle with a few drops of olive oil, wrap the foil to create a packet and place in the oven.
Coat a baking sheet lightly with olive oil. Place the vegetables on the baking sheet and arrange in one layer, drizzling lightly with a little more olive oil. Squeeze lemon juice over the vegetables. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Place vegetables in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then stir/flip them around and roast until tender and crisp at the edges, about another 10 minutes. (Larger beets will take a few more minutes).
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Remove the shallot packet from the oven and carefully take out the shallots with the use of tongs. Toss the roasted shallots into a food processor with the sherry and balsamic vinegars, 2 pinches of coarse salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Blend until smooth. Drizzle in the olive oil. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
Spoon three-quarters of the quinoa onto a serving platter. Arrange roasted roots over the quinoa, and top off with the rest of the quinoa. Drizzle the entire dish with the vinaigrette. Serve with an extra drizzle of balsamic vinegar if you’d like or a few crumbles of goat cheese or dabs of yogurt.
Serves 4. Recipe from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” by Deb Perelman.