I’m entirely in love with the autumn we’ve had in Vancouver this year. It actually feels like a season of its own and not just an immediate onset of grey and never-ending rain (which I do love, I’m not complaining), but a breathtaking and bright extended autumn. It feels like I’m back in Ontario for my favourite time of year, just without the quiet threat of impending snow and cold. This warm salad is an ode to the seasonal fruits and vegetables of autumn, its bright colours mimic the foliage of October in Vancouver. It’s a vibrant contrast between green pine trees and palm trees against the firework display of deciduous leaves, often nestled delicately amongst the former. You could use turnip, parsnip, sweet potatoes, yams, or carrots in place of the golden beets and the apple could easily be a pear. Go ahead and use regular beets but beware their shocking hue, your salad will go from multicoloured to deep red as soon as you toss it. I also like this salad the next day wrapped up in warm pita bread or naan with a drizzle of hummus that has been thinned with tahini and lemon juice.
autumn salad with roasted golden beets and cauliflower:
5 golden beets, scrubbed and quartered
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into small segments
Half an apple, I like Pink Lady or Honeycrisp
2 small stalks of celery, cut into thin quarter moons
About a third of a red onion, diced and then soaked in juice of 1 lime and water for at least 15 minutes
2 cups of baby spinach, torn
Half of a pomegranate
for the dressing:
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey or 1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. dried chilli flakes
Freshly cracked pepper and kosher salt to taste
1. Toss the beets with olive oil and generous pinch of salt and roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Add the cauliflower pieces and another drizzle of olive oil, roast for another 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature.
2. Put all of the salad dressing ingredients into a jar and shake vigorously. Set aside.
3. Cut the beets into thin slices and combine them with the cauliflower, apple, celery, red onion, spinach, and pomegranate seeds in a large salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss well to coat the salad. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving while still warm.
Who knew a song about a dying goldfish could be so pretty? Something meaningful and nostalgic for a warm day on the couch in front of the fire.
Pinback – Penelope