30. März 2013

Root Vegetable Salad with Pink Dressing

I am in love with all kinds of spices. Especially cinnamon. I use to add it to all kinds of dishes, savory as well as sweet. This, of course, isn’t my invention. Asian and African cultures have a huge variety of spice mixtures and dishes that contain cinnamon.
I am not really a person with a sweet tooth. I always prefer a salty pretzel to a piece of cake. May be it is the combination of both sweet and savory that makes my heart jump with delight when eating Moroccan or any other Oriental dish.
I dare not say this salad is Moroccan. It is just inspired by the warm, earthy flavor of a North African dish I had at a restaurant a while ago. It also originated from my love for couscous studded with golden raisins, apricots and a decent dose of warming spices and chili.
The salad can be served warm or cold and comes together in the blink of an eye since the oven is doing most of the work.
You just have to cut the veggies, throw them on a baking pan, mix the dressing.

I added umeboshi paste to the dressing because I think the tart and salty flavor of the plum compliments the sweetness of the root vegetables nicely. The healing  powers of the plum are also very appealing (aids digestion, combats fatigue and is claimed to protect against aging) and make it an great addition to any salad dressing or sauce.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

750g root vegetables (I used  half carrots, half parsley root; parsnips would be great, too)
½-1 tsp ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Juice of 1/2 blood orange (2-3 Tbsp)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp umeboshi paste
1 tsp honey (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed
½ bunch of parsley, chopped
Fresh ginger, grated (optional)

Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
Peel vegetables and slice into long but thin sticks.
Put on a lined baking sheet and season with salt, pepper and cinnamon.
Bake at 175°C for 20-25 minutes until the edges start to brown and the veggies have softened but still are a bit crunchy.
While the veggies are baking, prepare the dressing.
Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix. Using a handheld blender, blend dressing to emulsify.

When the vegetables are done, add dressing and stir thoroughly to combine. Use your hands to not crush the veggie sticks!

Just before serving drizzle vegetables with additional dressing, add toasted hazelnuts and parsley, stir to combine.
Serve the salad on a bed of your favorite grain.


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