What I particularly like about this salad is that the flavors change as you eat it: The greens mingle with the sweet dressing and the salad just tastes richer. It celebrates the good root vegetables available in the fall, which taste full and sweet when you roast them. You can use different vegetables and greens, too.
4 baby red beets, roasted and halved
4 baby golden beets, roasted and halved
4 cipollini or pearl onions, roasted
4 large baby carrots, roasted and halved lengthwise
4 red radishes, roasted and halved
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 cups mixed baby salad greens
To roast the vegetables, place a large baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss all the vegetables with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a generous dose of salt and pepper. Carefully remove the heated baking sheet from the oven and brush with olive oil. Place the vegetables on the sheet, spreading them out so they don't touch, and roast for about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the veggies.
Arrange the vegetables so that they circle the centers of 4 chilled salad plates. Drizzle the syrup on the plate just inside the vegetable circles. In a large bowl, whisk the oil and vinegar together and season with salt and pepper. Add the salad greens and toss to mix. Divide the salad among the plates, piling them in the center of each plate. Serve immediately.
Excerpted from Taste Pure and Simple: Irresistible Recipes for Good Food and Good Health by Michel Nischan, Chronicle Books, 2003. Copyright © 2003 by Michel Nischan.