In the name of local, seasonal culinary love, and that epic farmers’ market trip where my haul included about 10 pounds of roots, welcome back to what has turned out to be Root Vegetable Week here at Kale & Cardamom headquarters. Are you excited? I know I am 😉 The Yogi, not so much, though he’s made a big pot of chili (with habaneros!), so he’s doing just fine (and I’m delighted, because he makes the best chili I have ever tasted).
Even though I’ve taken to braising my roots recently, that doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned roasting altogether (winter dryness be damned!). Case in point: a dish of roasted carrots, rutabaga, and turnips with miso-poppy seed dressing that I’ve taken quite a shine to.
Savory, salty, umami-rich miso paste is a great pairing with sweet, starchy vegetable matter — especially roots and winter squash like kabocha. Here I whipped up a miso-based dressing, perked up with rice vinegar for tang, walnut oil for nutty richness (and super-healthy monounsaturated and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids), and poppy seeds for cuteness factor.
You can use any root vegetables you like in this recipe. I used rutabaga, turnips, and multi-colored heirloom carrots; sweet potatoes would also be great, and red or golden beets. Or head in the winter squash direction and sub in kabocha, butternut, delicata, or acorn squash, either cubed or cut into long, thin sections before roasting.
I served the roots over a little heap of massaged purple kale salad (recipe for that is below, too), which made a nice match. For a heartier meal, add some rice (black or red rice would be particularly dramatic) or other grains to the mix.
And one more thing: leftovers are fantastic with a soft-cooked or poached egg (or two) on top.
roasted roots with miso + poppy seed dressing and purple kale
serves 4 to 6
1 large rutabaga (about 1 pound), peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
3-4 small turnips, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1 pound carrots, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
4 cups purple kale, stems removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 teaspoon nama shoyu (or tamari)
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mellow white miso or chickpea miso paste (unpasteurized)
1/2 teaspoon ginger juice (grate the fresh root on a ginger grater or microplane and squeeze to release the juices)
2 tablespoons walnut oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 425 F.
Arrange the root vegetables on one or two sheet trays (I used one for the cubed rutabaga + turnips, another for the carrots, since they are cut into different shapes and therefore cook at different rates). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir to coat, and arrange in a single layer. Transfer to the oven and cook until caramelized and tender, about 25 to 35 minutes for the cubed vegetables, 35 to 45 minutes for the carrots). Stir halfway through.
In a medium bowl combine the kale, shoyu, and rice vinegar. With clean hands, massage the kale for a couple of minutes, squeezing to release its juices. Marinate for 15 minutes before serving.
In a small bowl whisk together the miso paste, ginger juice, walnut oil, rice vinegar, and poppy seeds until smooth. Season with black pepper to taste. (The miso is salty so I did not season with additional salt.)
To serve, place a handful of kale on each plate, top with roasted vegetables, and drizzle with miso dressing.