My sister is getting married on Saturday, and I am currently up in Maine for the last and most important event of my wedding triple-header. The leaves are turning, there’s excitement in the air, and 124 bottles of Prosecco just arrived on my Mom’s doorstep, so things are looking good.
Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about how this wedding was going to come together. My wonderful sister, Olivia and her fiancé, Will, have been engaged for two years, but it wasn’t until July that they decided they wanted to tie the knot on October 12.
This three-month time frame made me understandably anxious. I imagine it would take me at least that long to decide on a veil length or the type of horse-drawn carriage that I’d like as my personal transportation, let alone plan an entire wedding. Insanity.
However, it turns out that my sister is some sort of wedding-planning rain man. The girl managed to lock down a venue, caterer, florist and trolley service in less than a week without even breaking a sweat. Invitations went out within four days and the rest is history in the making. I think I was most awed by the remarkable calm Olivia exhibited in getting her wedding dress on such short notice, especially since she didn’t actually decide on one until a couple weeks ago. I get hives just thinking about the lack of fittings, but she’s cool as a cucumber, so kudos must be given.
Olivia arrived on Mount Desert Island early this week, followed by me, my mother, and Will, and things seem to be going shockingly smoothly. Welcome bags have been stuffed, hair and makeup trials have been had (there was a point where my sister was planning on having me be her makeup artist, which was both flattering and terrifying), and guests are slowly trickling in. No one is really sure when my little brother plans to get here (Elliot, if you’re reading this, drop a sister a line) and Acadia National Park is closed thanks to the government shenanigans, but other than those minor speed bumps, all is going according to plan. Great success!
Although the past couple of days have been rather zen, I’ve been bracing myself for the chaos since I woke up this morning. Our family, like all families, is “special,” which makes for excellent entertainment and medium to high levels of craziness. There are three different houses in play, one very excited dog (which makes me nervous), two small children (which make me more nervous), and a lot of strong personalities. All I can say is, thank God for the 124 bottles of Prosecco.
Needless to say, I don’t foresee myself having a lot of cooking time over the next four days. However, I’m definitely going to need fuel to survive what I’m sure will be a fabulous, hilarious, and emotional 72 hours. I’m also going to need to feed my Mom because left to her own devices, she will forget to eat in the mayhem and then end up losing everything from her camera and car keys to her sanity. Luckily, I have just the thing in mind for today: Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Herbed Goat Cheese.
This salad is one of my favorite rustic fall meals. First of all, I’m a diehard fan of roasted vegetables, and root vegetables are particularly hearty and comforting. The combination of tender roasted carrots, turnips, parsnips and sweet potatoes is slightly sweet, a little earthy, and enhanced by a few cloves of garlic and the unbeatable trio of rosemary, thyme and sage. Honestly, these vegetables taste like fall, they’re very pretty, and they will make your kitchen smell unbelievable, which is always a plus.
I eat these roasted root veggies on the reg from late September all the way through the winter because in addition to the aforementioned selling points, they’re delicious, nutrient-rich, and ridiculously simple to make. Yes, there’s a fair amount of chopping involved, but once you power through it, you can have a cocktail and hang out while your vegetables are in the oven, or in my case, work on an incredibly heart-warming and hilarious wedding speech and practice my camera smile.
Roasted root vegetables make an epic side dish for almost anything you can think of and a great healthy snack, but served warm over peppery arugula with creamy goat cheese, they make an excellent light meal on their own. This salad is one that leaves you feeling satisfied, yet not overly stuffed, both of which are crucial during a weekend when one requires stamina, but also needs to be zipped into a “wild beet” bridesmaid dress that may or may not be a perfect fit.
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Herbed Goat Cheese: (Serves 4)
2 medium carrots (or 3 small), cut into 1½-inch pieces
1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small red onion, cut in half and then halves cut into fourths
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
5 ounces baby arugula
4 oz herbed goat cheese
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¾ teaspoons dark brown sugar, packed
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
Preparing your Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Herbed Goat Cheese:
-Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
-Place your prepared vegetables on a baking sheet or in a baking pan. Add the olive oil, chopped herbs, smashed garlic, salt and fresh ground pepper. Toss to coat.
-While your vegetables are roasting, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, garlic and olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
-In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the dressing. Divide the arugula among 4 plates and sprinkle with herbed goat cheese (1 ounce per plate, obviously). Top each salad with ¼ of the roasted root vegetables and serve immediately. Fool-proof fall dining at its finest, friends!
- 2 medium carrots (or 3 small), cut into 1½-inch pieces
- 1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 small parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 small red onion, cut in half and then halves cut into fourths
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh ground pepper
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 4 oz herbed goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¾ teaspoons dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh ground pepper
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Place your prepared vegetables on a baking sheet or in a baking pan. Add the olive oil, chopped herbs, smashed garlic, salt and fresh ground pepper. Toss to coat.
- Roast your vegetables for 35-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, gently stirring once after 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- While your vegetables are roasting, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, garlic and olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
- In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the dressing. Divide the arugula among 4 plates and sprinkle with herbed goat cheese (1 ounce per plate, obviously). Top each salad with ¼ of the roasted root vegetables and serve immediately.
I’m thrilled to be a part of Food Network’s Fall Fest this week. For more delicious recipes check out the awesome blogs below.
Feed Me Phoebe: Mashed Turnips with Miso Butter
The Lemon Bowl: Baked Turnip Chips
Purple Cook: Turnip and Tomato Curry, Recipe Reviewed
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Easy Roasted Root Vegetables
Red or Green: Roasted Turnip and Parsnip Soup with Toasted Walnuts
Dishing: Roasted Turnips with Parmesan
Taste With The Eyes: Quinoa Corn Timbale, Turnip Confit, Quail Egg and Fried Sage with a Demi-Glace
The Sensitive Epicure: Mashed Turnips with Celery Root
Devour: 4 Ways to Cook Turnips
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Turnip Soup
Cooking With Elise: Turnip Farmers Tell All
FN Dish: Turnip Recipes Revisited