Starting the New Year off right, with this Roasted Carrot, Lemon and Leek Salad. The salad is served warm, with an arugula and spinach base, a meyer lemon and thyme dressing, and topped with some crumbled queso fresco cheese. Honestly, it’s delicious and 100% moorish (so says mom), and for a salad that’s pretty impressive.
How’s everyone feeling now that 2019 has rolled around?? Katherine and I were looking back over the past year and how far we’ve come. Truth be told, it’s often a struggle to post weekly, mostly because we both work full time jobs and live an hour apart. Winter is always a little bit harder too, with nasty weather preventing travel. But we still love creating recipes and feel like we’re improving in both recipe creation and photography. We want to be headed in the right direction, so if you’re feeling generous, drop us a line on Instagram, Facebook or here on the blog to let us know what you think!
Alright, back to this fantastic salad. All of the ingredients (except for the salad greens, some oil & vinegar and the cheese) get dumped onto a baking tray and roasted for 40 minutes. It’s really simple, and super tasty, but it does take a little more time than a traditional salad. But why eat a boring salad when you can eat something delicious! If i’m going to eat a salad, it’s going to be a damn good one, life’s too short after all. The carrots retain a bit of crunch and the leeks turn soft and caramelized.
The “dressing” is super simple. Lemons and garlic are roasted along with the vegetables. The lemons get squeezed over the carrots and leeks after they come out of the oven, for sticky goodness. And the garlic? It gets mashed with some oil and vinegar and mixed right back in. It truly makes for a flavour bomb of a dressing. All that’s left to do is toss with the greens and top with some queso fresco cheese (we used Five Brothers – a Newfoundland cheese company). Serve it with some simple roasted chicken or fish and you’ve got a complete and healthy meal. And if you want to make it vegan or vegetarian, sub some avocado for the cheese and use maple syrup in place of the honey. Dig in!
Roasted Carrot, Lemon and Leek Salad
A warm salad with roasted vegetables tossed in a lemon, honey and thyme dressing.
- 2 leeks, cut in half lengthwise, cleaned, then sliced crosswise
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into quarters
- 2 meyer lemons (or regular lemons), zest of 1 (~1 tsp), then halved and seeds removed
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
- 2 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 4 tbsp + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp + 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 142 grams spinach and arugula mix
- 60 grams queso fresco cheese (we used Five Brothers), crumbled
Preheat the oven to 375F. On a baking sheet, toss together the leeks, carrots, and unpeeled garlic cloves with 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp vinegar, honey, lemon zest, some salt and pepper, and the thyme leaves. Tuck in the lemon halves, and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, until the carrots are fork tender, but still have some crunch, and the leeks are caramelized.
Using a pair of tongs, squeeze the roasted lemon halves over the vegetable mixtures, then toss together, discarding the lemon halves. Remove the garlic cloves from the pan, squeeze them from the peels and mash with 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp vinegar and some salt and pepper. Stir back into the carrot leek mixture. In a large bowl, toss the arugula and spinach mix with the roasted vegetables and all the dressing from the pan. Top with the crumbled queso fresco and serve warm.