Warm and colorful root vegetable salad bursting with flavor — roasted carrots, winter squash, potatoes and greens in a zesty fresh chimichurri sauce.
This is really one of the best dishes to satisfy your (healthy) hunger cravings – root vegetable salad in rainbow colors.
They’re all roasted together and tossed with an herby/spicy dressing you’ll want to pour on everything.
In the kitchen, cooler weather means a shift toward the world of root vegetables — carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash in particular — all with the gorgeous color of spectacular autumn leaves.
The possibilities of fall and winter salads are an excellent reason to look forward to the seasons changing.
In fact, it might help take the edge off any melancholy feelings when summer starts to fade.
Roasting root vegetables
The easiest way to deal with a harvest of root vegetables is to peel them, slice them into bite-size chunks and drizzle with olive oil.
Put them on a sheet pan and roast for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees.
This simple technique transforms them into sweet nuggets.
I can’t think of a better way to enjoy them than in a salad.
This dish brings that breath of freshness and vibrancy you might be craving as the weather turns cooler, when those sweet tomatoes of summer are a distant memory.
Seasoning root vegetables
Hearty root vegetables welcome a stronger hand with spices and bold flavors.
That’s why I gravitate toward simple ways of cooking them.
It’s a good tactic to feature the globally-influenced seasonings I love using to spice things up!
What is chimichurri?
Chimichurri is a delicious South American condiment used most often in Argentina and Uruguay as a marinade or topping for grilled meat.
It’s a lot like a loose pesto sauce or herby dressing in consistency, and it adds a ton of bright green, zesty flavor to this salad.
For this recipe, I use the slightly spicy sauce like a salad dressing to contrast with the natural sweetness of the root vegetables.
The sauce is based on a short list of ingredients, including fresh parsley, cilantro, olive oil and red wine vinegar.
It’s very easy to stir together. The dressing bursts with herbal flavors — it has a nice spark of heat from the red chili and tangy acidity from the vinegar.
Save any leftover chimichurri in the refrigerator or better yet, make a double batch.
The sauce keeps well for a few days and is amazing used as a marinade or spooned over grilled steak, chicken or fish.
You can easily make a meal of this salad by serving it over cooked whole grains (barley, farro, brown rice) or as a vegetarian side dish fit for a holiday table.
More favorite Familystyle Food fall vegetable recipes:
- Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Harissa
- Cream of Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Orange
- Smoky Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
- Pumpkin Pasta in Parmesan Garlic Cream Sauce
Root Vegetable Salad with Chimichurri
- 1 green onion, white and light green sections, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 small fresh red chili, finely chopped or 1/2- 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup (20 g) Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/3 cup (20 g) fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups (280 g) peeled butternut squash, sliced into 1 1/2" pieces
- 1 (226 g) sweet potato, sliced into 1 1/2" pieces
- 1 bunch baby carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch sticks
- 2 yellow potatoes (such as Yukon Gold) , sliced into 1 1/2" pieces
- 1/2 cup sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup radicchio leaves, torn into pieces
Make Chimichurri Sauce
- Put the green onion, garlic, chili and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Pour the vinegar over and let sit 10 minutes.
- Add the parsley and cilantro to the bowl and stir. Pour over the olive oil and stir again to blend.
Make the salad
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine the squash, sweet potato, carrots and yellow potato on a large rimmed baking sheet. Pour the oil over and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss everything together and roast 20 minutes.
- Add the red onion to the vegetables and stir the mixture around. Roast an additional 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and golden brown.
- Put the vegetables in a large serving bowl along with the spinach and radicchio. Pour about half the sauce over and toss together. Serve with additional sauce on the side.
- To add variety to the salad, cut the vegetables into different bite-sized shapes — half moons, cubes and stubby matchsticks.
- The roasted vegetables and sauce keep well made a few days in advance. Briefly warm the vegetables before tossing with the greens and chimichurri.
- This salad makes a perfect holiday side dish or vegetarian main dish served over cooked whole grains. Make a double batch of the chimichurri to serve over grilled steak, chicken or fish.
- Crumbled soft cheese like feta, goat or blue
- Sliced raw or roasted cherry tomatoes
- Toasted pecans or sliced almonds
- Tender sprigs of fresh parsley and cilantro