Salads can be simple, but as I was putting together my first ever plant-based – vegan – Easter dinner this year I decided that going for impressive, fabulous and a bit over the top, even when it comes to a salad, wouldn’t hurt. Maybe you’ve already seen, or even tasted, my Meatless Shepherd’s Pie – if you haven’t now would be a good time to do it – and this salad is what I paired it with.
The base of the salad is baby kale which you can probably get these days in any well-stocked supermarket. If you can’t find baby kale go with mixed field greens or baby lettuce, or just chop up some romain or butter lettuce. Stay away from baby spinach and iceberg lettuce as I am not convinced those two will play nice with roasted beets and roasted leeks.
What makes preparing this salad a bit more elaborate than your tossed salad is the fact that both leeks and beets need to be cleaned, chopped, roasted and cooled before hitting the salad bowl. I’ve already shared how to clean leeks, so I used the same cleaning method on this occasion as well. For this recipe I recommend cleaning and chopping the beets before roasting to maximize the amount of beer surface that is nicely caramelized. You may want to wear gloves when you handle beets as they will stain your hands. I personally don’t mind it at all but if you do please plan to protect your hands an wear the gloves.
Baby Kale with Roasted Beets and Leeks tossed with a Lemon Vinaigrette
What you’ll need:
11 oz (312 g) baby kale
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
What you’ll do:
- Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C).
- Clean the leeks to remove all the sand and dirt that leeks usually come with. Dry well and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spray with a generous amount of cooking spray.
- Peel the beets and cut them to 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes. Place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
- Roast for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and let cool for several hours. You want the roasted vegetables to be at room temperature for this one!
- To make the lemon vinaigrette, mix together juice and zest of one lemon, with the olive oil and Dijon mustard.
- Place baby kale in a large salad bowl. Top with roasted beets and leeks, and drizzle the vinaigrette all over the salad. Toss everything together and serve!!!
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