For me, wintertime features a near-constant comfort food craving that presents itself in late September and doesn't let up until April. Ramen, pasta, bread, and essentially anything containing carbohydrates are in constant rotation; meaning, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything green on my plate.
That is until I watched Netflix's cooking docuseries "Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat" starring chef and food writer Samin Nosrat. Curiously enough, I found myself craving the bean and roasted veggie salad Nosrat prepares in the "Heat" episode. Feeling inspired to recreate it, I took to Pinterest to find something similar and landed on a roasted veggie salad from food blogger, Wallflower Kitchen. Read on below to toss together your own roasted veggie salad, using Wallflower Kitchen's recipe as a guide.
Winter Roasted Veggie Salad Ingredients
Containing just deliciously roasted veggies, quinoa, lentils, spices, kale, and a homemade tahini dressing, the recipe wasn't so difficult that my novice cooking skills wouldn't be up for the challenge. I didn't follow the recipe exactly—instead, I roasted cinnamon-topped sweet potatoes and cauliflower mixed with onions, nixed the lentils and stuck with the quinoa, then added corn to the mix, and topped the salad with walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and almonds for added crunch.
If you are looking to follow Wallflower Kitchen's salad recipe more precisely, be sure to have spices including cumin and turmeric on-hand. As for the tahini garlic dressing, you'll also need miso, nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, and tahini.
Creative Ingredient Swaps
The great thing about a salad recipe, no matter what the season, is that you can create one with any number of ingredient swaps. For example, while Wallflower Kitchen's winter salad recipe calls for quinoa, you can opt for other grains like farro or barley, or switch to pasta like orzo. When it comes to greens, kale can be swapped out for whatever you're in the mood for—spinach, butter lettuce, mizuna, arugula, or chard for example.
Add the Best Olive Oil
My secret ingredient was Cobram Estate's California select olive oil from their first harvest of the year, which I drizzled over the roasted veggies and the kale, corn, and quinoa mixture. It's so delicious I could literally drink it by itself; I've never tasted an olive oil so good.
The resulting dish would give Sweetgreen a run for its money. The roasted shawarma-style cauliflower and cinnamon-flecked sweet potatoes are both filling and delicious, and I absolutely loved the homemade tahini dressing (which includes tahini, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic powder). I didn't think a salad could ever be considered comfort food, but this dish has changed my find.
Unfortunately, some olive oils out there on the market are only masquerading as the real thing. Choose a legit bottle by opting for extra virgin olive oil in a dark or metal bottle (which preserves freshness), and the more information a bottle has, the better—think: 'Best by' date, harvest date, variety of olive used, and the name of the producer or estate.