Warm and colorful root vegetable salad bursting with flavor — roasted carrots, winter squash, potatoes and greens in a zesty fresh chimichurri sauce.
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 vegetables and turning them into a salad offers the breath of freshness you might be craving as the weather turns cooler and it seems like the sweet tomatoes of summer are a distant memory.
Hearty root vegetables welcome a stronger hand with spices and bold flavors, which is why I gravitate toward simple ways of cooking them that feature lots globally-influenced seasonings.
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 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
harvest root vegetable salad with chimichurri
Yield 4 - 6 servings
Beautiful warm root vegetable salad bursting with flavor — a mixture of roasted carrots, winter squash, potatoes and greens in a zesty fresh chimichurri sauce.
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.
- 1 green onion, white and light green section, finely chopped (or 1 finely chopped shallot)
- 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 red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup very finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
- 1/3 cup very finely chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
- 1 sweet potato, sliced into bite-size pieces
- 1 bunch baby carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch sticks
- 2 yellow potatoes, (such as Yukon Gold) sliced into bite-size pieces
- 1 small red onion (or half of 1 large)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup torn radicchio leaves
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- To make the chimichurri sauce, put the green onion, garlic, chili and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Pour the vinegar over and macerate 10 minutes.
- Add the herbs to the bowl and stir. Pour over the olive oil and stir again to blend.
- 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.
Delicious add-in ideas:
- 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