Spring Rainbow Salad

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One of the hardest parts of deciding to move to the North Shore was leaving the farm that we had very quickly grown to love during the short time we lived in Acton. We loved Springdell (and Farmer Jamie) so much that I considered driving back to Littleton once a week , but then we realized that was a teeny bit ridiculous - and quite a bit of gas money - so I went in search of a new farm closer to home. We got many suggestions from friends and neighbors, and went with Marini Farm, because Jamie knows them and also because we really wanted to support a family farm instead of a nonprofit farm. There’s a whole list of reasons for that, but ultimately it came down to simply wanting to help a family in their business and livelihood. We signed up back in February and today, we got to pick up our very first share. And we couldn’t be more pleased!

We came home with six parsnips, a bunch of six radishes, two bunches of spinach, two bunches of asparagus, four heads of lettuce, and some cider donuts (which are already gone!) To say we’ll be eating a lot of salad this week might be an understatement - but I am up for the challenge. Because everyone gets bored with the same ole salad meal after meal, and also because my husband and children are really hard to convince on the salad front, I have to be creative. This super easy roasted vegetable salad might be my new favorite.

We started with this:

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And ended up with this:

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I had half of a purple cabbage in my fridge from our final Winter CSA pickup in April, and some carrots from the farm down the street so I made a rainbow of veggies and threw them in the oven for 30 minutes. When they came out, I put them on top of a bed of thinly sliced lettuce, topped it with homemade croutons (don’t ever throw your crusts away!) and dressed it with the best salad dressing ever. If you could fall in love with food, I’d be in deep. 

Roasted Spring Rainbow Salad  

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

One bunch radishes, quartered  
1 small carrot (or 6 baby carrots), chopped
1 small parsnip, peeled and chopped
1/4 small sweet onion, chopped small
6 spears asparagus, chopped in 2-inch pieces
1/6 purple cabbage, sliced  
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
salt to taste
3 cups crusts and leftover bread, cut into cubes
garlic powder
1 head lettuce, thinly sliced
The Best Dressing (see below)

Preparation: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees while you’re washing and chopping your veggies. Line veggies on a cookie sheet - I like to do this in rainbow order simply because my kids think it’s awesome (and also because who wouldn't want to eat a Rainbow Salad?!) Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Roast for 30 minutes or so, until you start to see them getting brown and caramelized.

Put your bread cubes on a different cookie sheet, drizzle with more olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Put them in the oven for 20 minutes or so, tossing occasionally to help them toast evenly. You’ll never buy croutons again!

While your veggies are roasting and your bread cubes are toasting, wash and slice your lettuce and put it on plates. Mix ingredients for salad dressing in a bottle or mason jar and shake well.

Top lettuce with roasted veggies, croutons, and salad dressing. Be amazed at how delicious your meal is. And promise to make it again very soon. 

The Best Dressing 

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice (or a mixture of lemon and orange will work too) 
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp dijon mustard (I'm a big fan of Grey Poupon because Costco sells it for way cheap - but I also really like Trader Joe's)
1 Tbsp sweet and hot mustard (Inglehoffer is my favorite)
2 Tbsp maple syrup  
Dash of  salt

Mix all ingredients in a jar and shake until well combined. Eat on everything. And I do mean everything.