Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday; family and friends, good food, fellowship, no gifts.I think it’s that last piece that I find so freeing. I’ve never been a good shopper, don’t enjoy it as a way to socialize – heck, just ask my family – when they do receive gifts, sometimes they’re not even wrapped!
That’s why I tend to look a the holiday meal and the individual dish preparation as gifts. I love flipping through recipes to discover something that will align with dietary preferences and seasonal ingredients, something that I might make too much of in order to feast on for a second day, and something that might delight both the table and the guests.
This year, my brother’s family provided a generous meal and setting. We brought ourselves and a salad for a wonderful evening of connecting with others – some of whom had traveled long distances to be there. I perused a dozen cookbooks and online recipes before landing on this one. I love the heartiness and yes, love most roasted anything.
This salad takes some preparation but because the steps are staggered, it isn’t overwhelming. The recipe offers flexibility so that you can add ingredients or subtract them based upon your farmers market and when it’s not Thanksgiving, this truly can be a meal.
Roasted Autumn Vegetable Salad
- 4 large carrots (halved lengthwise and cut in half)
- 3 shallots (halved)
- 1 butternut squash (peeled, halved, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch slices)
- 1/2 lb brussels sprouts (halved)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup dried green lentils (rinsed)
- 1/2 onion (studded with 8 cloves)
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbs dijon mustard
- 1/2 lb arugula
- 2 Celery Stalks (thinly sliced)
- Juice of 1/2 a large lemon
Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine carrots, shallots, squash, brussel sprouts, and garlic. Drizzle at least 2 Tbs of olive oil over the top. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Pour vegetables onto a tray and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, tossing once, halfway through.
Meanwhile, prepare the lentils by putting them into a small saucepan and covering with water by 2 inches. Add the onion and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and discard the onion, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
When vegetables are finished roasting, remove the garlic. Peel and mash the garlic in a medium bowl, combine with the remaining olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and dijon mustard. (I did this in a small food processor)
Toss the lentils with the vinaigrette, fold in the arugula leaves. Transfer to a serving platter. Arrange roasted vegetables on the top and add the sliced celery.
If you were to give the gift of a meal, what would it be?