On a quick trip to Boston last weekend, I got to enjoy an unexpectedly sunny stroll with my father down to the Charles River, where the trees were still clinging stubbornly to the last of their famous fall foliage. We stopped at the farmers market, where my father lamented the passing of the sungold tomatoes that had garnished my parents' salads all summer long. In response, I piled up our shopping bag with delicate squash, kohlrabi, beets, and baby turnips to demonstrate just how well these winter vegetables can top a salad.
Back home in Eugene, I used the same philosophy to compose an impromptu salad with our remaining Sweetwater Farm beets and daikon radish.
Each vegetable got tossed with olive oil and roasted until sweet and soft. For good measure, I roasted some green onions and then tossed everything with some clementine sections, letting the oniony olive oil and citrus juice serve as the dressing. Piled onto fresh lettuce leaves, this mixture was just as sweet and satisfying as any summer tomato.
Roasted Beet and Radish Salad with Oranges
serves four4 small beets
1 medium daikon radish (or 8 baby turnips)
4 green onions
~8 lettuce leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the tops and tails of the beets and rinse well (for larger beets, remove their skin with a vegetable peeler). Cut into eighths. On a baking sheet, toss with ~1 Tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Trim and peel the daikon radish, cut into similar sized pieces, and on a separate baking sheet, toss with ~1 Tbsp olive oil and salt.
2. Roast the beets and radish for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until a fork can pierce through the largest pieces easily and the radish have browned a bit.
3. While the vegetables are roasting, trim the green onions and cut them into 1/2 inch rounds. In a small baking dish or oven safe skillet, toss them with ~1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and stick them in the oven for about the last 10 minutes of roasting, removing them when they are soft and just starting to char. Wash and dry the lettuce leaves and tear into bite sized pieces. Peel the clementines, slice perpendicular to the sections, and separate the slices along the sections into triangles.
4. When the vegetables and green onions are done, toss them together in a bowl along with any oil from the pans. Toss in the clementine sections. Arrange the lettuce on a platter or individual plates and mound on the roasted vegetables. Enjoy.