Thanksgiving in February – Mid-Winter Root Vegetable Salad

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Wintery Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

Wintery Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

Don’t laugh…we really did have another Thanksgiving in February… the day after Valentine’s Day if you must know.  My family in Seattle (eight adults) always attend the real Thanksgiving weekend at Kal’s Cabin.  However, we inevitably prepare for all the out of town family and never end up with enough leftover turkey and stuffing and gravy…I mean with 25 eaters all weekend, not much remains.

So it came to pass that we organized a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this month.  We all agreed we had a lot to be thankful for – so much so that celebrating our bounty once a year was simply not sufficient. My older brother arrived at our condominium Sunday morning to begin preparing  the turkey and stuffing and gravy and cranberries in my kitchen at 9:30 am!  His condo is smaller than mine and his kitchen is smaller than mine so I let him work his magic in my unit.  Yes, the room filled with smoke from the turkey fat splattering all over the inside of my oven.  Yes, the smells were incredible.  Yes, the next day I had to clean my oven and exhaust fan hood and oven racks and floors..but it was totally worth it.

I played adult and set the table with fine china and silver and real napkins, and we put everything on beautiful platters. I am going to askUncle Tim to teach the next generation how he makes his turkey, stuffing and gravy.  To round everything out, Jake brought perfect Yukon gold mashed potatoes, I provided black bottom pie, wine, spinach salad and roasted vegetables with a twist.  I must say, the food was divine.  The company was even better.

My Black Bottom Pie

My Black Bottom Pie

Kal brought the following delicious roasted yam and beet salad with a kale dressing.  Drum roll for this one.  And do feel free to make the kale-buttermilk dressing a little on the thick side and use it to dip fresh vegetables or to spread on crusty bread.

I think we’ll try for a second repeat February Thanksgiving in 2016 too.  I highly recommend replicating this special day for all of you.  Please be forewarned, however, that in February it is impossible to find pomegranates and fresh chestnuts (at least in Seattle).

Roasted Vegetables With Kale-Buttermilk Dressing



From Kal from Food and Wine Magazine and tweaked by me.

Prep time:   30 minutes

Roasting time:  45 minutes

Servings:  10

Dressing or Dip Ingredients
  • ½ bunch (4 oz) green kale, stemmed  (I use lacinato)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ small serrano or jalapeno chili with seeds, chopped-more or less to your taste
  • 1 anchovy fillet with some oil
  • ¼ cup plain unflavored yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced white onion
  • ⅛ teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup olive oil (more if you want it thinner and less if you are making this as a dip)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper 
Dressing Instructions

In a medium sauce pan, with ¼ inch water, add kale and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook until wilted and softened, 3-5 minutes.  Drain and dry the kale.  Puree this with the rest of the dressing ingredients, adding oil last of all until it’s the right consistency.  Make it thicker if you want a dip, and thin it out more if you use it as a salad dressing.

Salad Ingredients
  • 4-6 Garnet yams
  • 1 large bunch red beets with green tops
Salad Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 and adjust the rack to mid oven.

Remove the tops from the red beets and set aside.

Peel and cube beets and yams into 1-inch pieces, toss each vegetable individually with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Keeping the yams and beets separate, place onto a parchment-lined, rimmed cookie sheet at 425 degrees, for 30-45 minutes.  The beets take longer to soften, so if the yams finish cooking first,  remove them to a plate and continue roasting the beets.

Chop the beet greens and sauté over medium heat in a bit of olive oil (add spinach or chard if you want more greens). Toss with the root veggies to serve.

Everything can be served at room temperature.  I think it looks pretty spread out on a platter!  Place dressing on the side.

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