I really really want it to be Fall. But even though I'm ready for cool crisp air, butternut squash, scarves, chunky sweaters, soup, hot cider, and baked apples, it's still in the 80's here in Southern California. So instead of being upset that it's still hot, I'm just going into denial mode and getting ahead of myself because I really can't resist posting this recipe for you all so that when Autumn finally does show up, you'll be ready. Now let me just start out saying that I'm really not a potato person. I could do with or without them. I'd rather cook up a pot of quinoa, farro, buckwheat or some exciting grain. That all changed last weekend when my mom and I found some purple potatoes at our local farmers market.
Along with the potassium contained in your typical potato, these purple potatoes are also a rich source of the phytonutrients called Anthocyanins, pigments found in blue and purple fruits and vegetables (blueberries, blackberries, and acai for example). Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that help fight free radicals caused by the body's normal metabolic processes, as well as radiation, environmental toxins, cigarette smoke, pollution, and herbicides. Purple potatoes are the most common, but look for any color especially as heirloom varieties become more popular and readily available.
Roasted Root Salad: adapted from 101cookbooks
1 1/2 lbs small, waxy potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (I used purple, but you could use any color you want) 1/2 lb carrots, scrubbed and cut into the same size as your potatoes 1/2 lb parsnips, scrubbed and cut 6 shallots, peeled and cut into halves lengthwise 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil 2 pinches of sea salt 2 bunches of green onions, green tops cut off and sliced in half lengthwise
vinaigrette: 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar 1 small or 1/2 medium shallot, minced 2 tsp. whole grain mustard 1/4 tsp. fine grain sea salt 1/3 c. olive oil 1 Tbsp. greek yogurt or creme fraiche (optional)
2 c. cooked wild or brown rice (the wild rice looks prettier)
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and shallots with 1/4 c. olive oil and sea salt until well-coated. Turn them out onto one or two baking sheets (I had to use two) in a single layer. Throw the green onions into the bowl and coat them with the residual olive oil, then add them to the baking sheets. Keep in mind the green onions will take about 20 minutes while the rest of the veggies should stay in there for 40-60 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, pour the red wine vinegar into a small bowl along with the chopped shallot. If you have time, allow them to soak for about 20 minutes. Whisk in the mustard and salt, then drizzle in the olive oil, still whisking. Then stir in the yogurt or creme fraiche, adjust vinegar, mustard, salt, etc. to taste.
When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven. Toss your rice with some of the vinaigrette. Then either add the vegetables to the bowl and toss with the rest of the dressing, or turn the rice out onto a serving platter and use it as a bed for your vegetables. Top with the roasted green onions.