I cherished the end of daylight saving time. The extra hour of sleep was spectacular, but now I would do anything for just one more hour of light in the evening. It seems every year we collectively forget what winter feels like, and we are shocked when the weather turns, the temperature dips, and it’s dark by 4:30pm.
We’ve been quite fortunate on the west coast as it’s been unseasonably warm. Don’t get too jealous—we set a new rain record with 28 days of rain in October (insert crying emoji here) and are still waiting on the final results from November. But instead of dwelling on the dark and wet days, I’m here to introduce you to the idea of a winter salad. Yes, you heard that right; salads aren’t just for summer anymore. Picture winter vegetables roasted until golden and sweet, tossed with a bright lemon vinaigrette, fresh herbs, and crumbled feta. To make it a more substantial meal I added some leftover brown rice, a can of chickpeas, and of course, something green because everything you eat should be colourful.
I chose vegetables that would stand up well in the fridge without getting soggy. No one wants a soggy salad. You can swap out the sweet potatoes for winter squash or carrots, and I’m thinking the next time I make this I’ll add roasted Brussels sprouts or broccoli instead of the kale.
- 1½ cups uncooked brown rice
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- ½ cup of crumbled feta cheese
- salt and pepper
- juice of 2 medium lemons
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook brown rice. I use a 1:2 ratio of rice to water and cook in a rice cooker. If in doubt, google “how to cook rice” ☺
- Preheat oven to 425F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
- Chop cauliflower and sweet potato into bite-sized pieces and toss with 2 tablespoons oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Spread vegetables evenly on the 2 baking sheets and roast for 25–30 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft and golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- While the vegetables and rice are cooking, make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, minced garlic, and the olive oil in a small bowl or jar. Add salt and pepper to taste. The dressing should be bright and lemony.
- Once all the ingredients are cooked and slightly cooled, assemble the salad by mixing together the brown rice, dressing, chopped kale, drained chickpeas, chopped parsley and dill into a large bowl. Stir to combine. Next, add the roasted cauliflower, sweet potato, and crumbled feta. Taste and add more salt/pepper if necessary.
- Cover and refrigerate the salad for a few hours to let the flavors marry.