Winter Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables and a Balsamic Reduction

Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

This recipe was created exclusively to pair with a bottle of Sangiacomo Chardonnay, West Rows from our featured green winemaker, Benziger Family Winery. The chardonnay is bright and slightly creamy with notes of citrus. With its light hints of vanilla bean, the medium-sweet wine is a perfect match for the caramelized sugars in roasted vegetables.

With Old Man Winter knocking at the front door, it's the perfect time for a hearty meal filled with root vegetables. And while winter cuisine is so very comforting, personally I cannot eat one more bowl of soup. So let's put down those ladles (and our Snuggies) and have a winter salad that's simple, warm and hearty.

Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

  • 8 to 12 root vegetables
  • 1 bunch fresh arugula, washed and dried
  • 1/4 pound mild and soft blue cheese
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grape seed oil (or just more olive oil)

Balsamic Reduction

1. In a small sauce pan, warm the balsamic vinegar over a low heat

2. Stir frequently to prevent scorching for at least 20 minutes

3. When the vinegar has thickened, remove from stove and set aside

4. Once the pot has cooled down, place in the refrigerator to chill

Roasted Root Vegetables

Carrots were used to create this recipe but any root vegetable would work. A melody of parsnips, beets and turnips that have been julienned after roasting is an excellent option for this hearty salad.

Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

1. Clean and peel the root vegetables

2. In a large mixing bowl, lightly coat the vegetables with a tablespoon of grape seed oil

3. Add one tablespoon of grape seed oil to a baking dish or roasting pan

4. Place the pan in an oven that has been pre-heated to 450 degrees for five minutes

5. Remove the pan and tilt it from side to side, thinly coating the bottom

6. Add the root vegetables and place the pan in the oven for 45 minutes

7. Remove pan from oven and let cool

Placing hot vegetables next to the arugula will cause it to immediately wilt. Let the vegetables cool such that they are warm to the touch and not hot. Alternatively, they can be chilled before adding them to the salad.

Winter Salad

1. In a large mixing bowl, toss the arugula with a teaspoon of olive oil

2. Place a slice of blue cheese on a plate along with some roasted vegetables

3. Add the arugula

4. Drizzle some of the balsamic reduction over the top

5. Salt and pepper to taste

6. Enjoy!

© Jaymi HeimbuchPhotos by Jaymi Heimbuch

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Tags: Cooking | Green Wine Guide | Recipes | Vegetarian