Fall Flavor: Warm Spiced Root Vegetable Salad with Feta

Ready for a new season with a warm autumn salad

Ahem -- so I have a few exciting announcements. I apologize for the suspense, but I wanted to time it just right.

First, starting with this salad recipe from the October issue (On Newstands Now!), I'll be contributing occasional recipe features to Sauce Magazine. I'm thrilled about this - I've long wanted to share more of my recipes with people, hopefully enticing them into the kitchen to get cooking. Plus, flexing my writing muscles seems like a good idea.

As of this moment, there's no link to my piece on their site, but I'll direct you there if and when it's up.

The next bit of news is that I'm off to Birmingham, Alabama to compete as one of 15 finalists in the Southern Living Cook-Off. It's a biggie - the largest annual cooking contest in the United States with a cash award of a cool 100k for the Grand Prize winner.

I'm long past counting on winning anything; that way lies disappointment and intermittent spells of bitter growling. Not very becoming behavior for a yoga mama like me! Also, T hates to be around a sore loser. Just wish me luck and hope that I can squeeze in time for a hot-rock massage at the hotel "spalon".

Last but not least, I've spent the past few months planning a new career - I'm starting a personal chef business, called DinnerStyle.

Now that J has started first grade, all previous bets are off. I'm free for six-and-a-half beautiful hours each and every weekday: I'm ready to join the few, the proud and the self-employed.

So, I've equipped myself with a traveling cooking toolbox, a rolling cooler and good liability insurance. Call me! I'll happily come to your house and cook up a feast or two.

See you in a few...

Spiced Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Feta and Pumpkin Seeds

Makes 4 servings
1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
1 pound parsnips
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups prewashed baby arugula or baby spinach
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds), toasted*
2 tablespoons pumpkin-seed oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, trim off the top and bottom and slice in half. Scoop out the strings and seeds with a large spoon and discard. Slice the squash into 1/2-inch pieces and spread on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Peel the parsnips and slice into 1/2-inch pieces. Add to the squash on the baking sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, salt, pepper, orange zest and juice and olive oil. Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat evenly.

Roast the vegetables 20-25 minutes, stirring once or until tender and lightly caramelized.
Add the arugula (or spinach) to the warm vegetables and toss to wilt slightly.
Transfer to a large platter or serving bowl. Crumble feta cheese over salad and sprinkle with pepitas.

Whisk together the oil, honey and vinegar and drizzle over the salad.

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Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food


Nupur said...

Best wishes for everything: the new writing gig, the competition, the new job...looks like you have exciting times ahead!

Lisa said...

Oh, Karen—very best of luck (not that you need it) on all of your exciting new ventures! The DinnerStyle site is really gorgeous and elegant; can't wait to see more of it as it continues to grow.

You'll knock 'em dead in Alabama!

Deborah Dowd said...

Karen- Congratulations on all your news! Iam excited to see how you do in the Cook-off. I entered a recipe, but didn't make it to finalist level, so I will be cheering for you!

valentinA said...

What a beautiful salad, I'd love to bring this for lunch next week!

Squishy said...

I make one very similar to this with rocket, sweet potato and pine nuts. You have urged me to make it again.

Karen said...

Nupur, thanks. I am very excited about what lies ahead.

Lisa, thanks!

Deborah, try again next year. The SL people are just wonderful; you'll have a blast.

Valentina, thank you. This would be great for lunch.

Squishy, I know you're heading for summer, but soon enough you'll be ready for more roots.