Roasted Radish Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

Another weekend, another few steps towards a normal house/life!

I’ll get more into what post tornado progress we made, after the recipe… but one thing we did this weekend was clear everything out from the fridge, completely wash it out, and then re-organize everything back into it. In doing so, I came across some veggies that were getting to the end of their life span… so I decided to cobble together a dish to use them up.

Of particular concern was a very old bag of radishes, a bag of baby carrots that had obviously seen better days, and some kale. I’d heard about roasting radishes fairly recently, but hadn’t gotten around to trying it. I decided to sort of base the dish around a salad I’d had at a food blogger event a couple months ago… but rough composition and kale are really the only common threads. Completely different veggies, nuts, and dressing.

This turned out amazing. It all worked so well together, and it was really pretty as well!

Roasting radishes gets rid of all of the bite, leaving a tender, almost sweet vegetable. It worked really well with the sweetness of the carrots, earthiness of the squash, and heft of the kale. The toasted walnuts brought some crunch to the party, and the dressing ended up perfect. I’ve never come across a vinaigrette that I REALLY liked- so I wrote my own.

I swear, my husband was grinning and *glowing* as he ate this. It was sort of a funny scene, we were both in our grubbies, exhausted after a whole weekend of repair/rebuild/cleanup, feeling totally beat up. This meal felt really “fancypants”, so we had to laugh at the contrast.

Roasted Radish Salad

1 baggie baby carrots
1 bunch radishes
1 acorn squash
olive oil
salt
pepper

1 head kale
Splash of lemon juice

Toasted walnuts

Maple Dijon vinaigrette (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Wash the radishes, chop into quarters. Cut the squash in half, scoop out all of the seeds and gunk. Slice the halves into sections (I just followed the sections of the squash itself), carefully cut off the rind, and cut into 1/4″ pieces.

Arrange baby carrots, radishes, and squash onto a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

While vegetables are roasting, chop kale into thin ribbons. (“Chiffonade”, but you know how I feel about invoking French!). Place in a LARGE pan or wok. Drizzle with olive oil, splash a little fresh lemon juice over it, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until wilted down and starting to brown / crisp up.

To serve, place a mound of kale on the plate, top with a generous amount of roasted vegetables. Sprinkle with walnuts, drizzle with vinaigrette, serve hot.

By the way… crumbled goat cheese would also work really well on this. Also… crispy bacon. (We didn’t have either on hand!)

Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Lemon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Measure all ingredients into a blender, blitz until well combined. Refrigerate til use.

So, tornado progress…

This week, we reached a huge milestone for us – with enough shelving finished, we were able to move all of our glassware from their “safe keeping” storage – our dishwasher – and into the partially finished cabinetry. We ran out first dishwasher load since the tornado (almost 9 months ago!), and have been drinking out of glasses. Glasses! They feel almost like a luxury now, after so many months of plastic cups.

We’re still stuck with paper plates and plastic cutlery for another week, as my husband works on more shelves. I can’t *wait* to unpack the dishes and cutlery. It’s been far too long. The tornado made us go a bit feral, but re-domestication feels good!

For my part, I spent WAY too much time getting sawdust and random construction/tornado debris out of our couch fabric, which has sort of a faux suede texture to it. Unbelievably difficult task, but it’s done! Every last bit of boxing, supplies, and temporary food storage has been removed from the living room, and it feels proper and huge now. Because we weren’t unpacked by the time the tornado hit, this is the cleanest and most organized we’ve ever had the living room!

Also, the spice rack situation.

Since we’ve had periods here and there of having a somewhat functional kitchen (a stove and a fridge, sometimes a sink, but NO cabinets or counters), I’d slowly compiled a “bare bones, survivalist” spice … tub. Just a little IKEA tub with unlabeled plastic baggies of dried herbs and spices. It was a far cry from my pre-tornado 72 piece, custom made spice rack, but it kept us sane in the times I was able to cook in there.

Well, this weekend I complete the move to an interim spice rack situation. We bought two identical 18 piece spice rack sets that look sort of like test tubes. 3 rows of 6, each row a little higher than the row in front of it. I dumped the spices out of one set, refilling them with herbs and spices not represented in the set. So, now I have a 36 piece spice set, which will make cooking a LOT easier and more fun.

I’m still a ways off from our final solution – find another matching set, empty and refill/re-label them with remaining “necessity” spices, then have a pull out spice rack beside the oven, which will house my (much larger) 72 spice jars, which will house spices that don’t fit in my counter top set. The tubes don’t hold a ton of volume, so this will be a storage solution more than anything – the counter top set will be convenient for daily use, I’ll refill as needed from the pull out set. YES!

Slowly but surely. It’s been a LONG journey since May 22, but we’ve learned a lot, DONE a lot, and our house is going to be really awesome as a result of all this forced renovation. We’re just exhausted from the “marathon”… looking forward to RELAXING this summer!

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