It feels official now, this change of season. The nip in the air is here to stay for awhile. As I walk around my Queens neighborhood the autumnal colors are undeniable.
These dahlias in my neighbors yard provide a shock of satisfying color as everything leafy begins to slowly turn golden brown.
The trees are making a big statement, their last hurrah.
A visit to the nursery on Woodhaven Boulevard gives lots of options for a decorative harvest display. My daughter and I agonized over our choice of pumpkins, weighing the merits of a perfectly round profile vs. a long curly stem. These gnarly gourds distracted us with their improbable shapes. Who would eat such things? They are to be admired for their audacity!
Dinner last night, at my favorite restaurant Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen, provided inspiration for today's recipe. On their menu was a roasted Brussels sprouts salad served with figs (delicious!)
The concept of a roasted vegetable salad makes perfect sense for this transitional season. The roasting brings a warm sweetness to the vegetables and the salad dressing keeps this dish rooted in summer with its acidic brightness. Pumpkins, sweet potatoes and Bosc pears are a great combination, cubed up and roasted till golden and then dressed with a simple vinaigrette fragrant with tangerine zest and Dijon mustard. Sweet, tart, seasonal and oh so colorful!
Roast Vegetable & Pear Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette
1 cup of peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1 " cubes
1 cup of peeled pumpkin, cut into 1 " cubes
1 cup of un-peeled Bosc pears, cut into 1 " cubes
1 tbs. canola oil
1 Tbs. chopped chives
1/4 cup tangerine vinaigrette -see recipe below
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange cubed vegetables and pear in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and tender. Remove to a bowl, toss with the chives and the vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
juice and zest of one tangerine
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a small bowl combine all the ingredients except the olive oil and whisk briskly to combine. Continue to whisk as you slowly add the olive oil in a continuous stream.