Ever since I figured out that something as simple as giving my kids a tiny side dish of maple syrup for dipping would inspire them to eat serving after serving of roast butternut squash I knew that I had stumbled onto something big. Of course not every kid is going to love every vegetable, so you just have to experiment until you find something that works. Sometimes just a sprinkle of this, a dash of that, or simply preparing vegetables in a new way can make the difference between them being eaten or neglected on the plate.
For Kenya’s birthday party this year my menu consisted of Rice Cooker Mac & Cheese, Chicken Noodle Soup, and fresh fruit salad (all at Kenya’s request) and I wanted to make a side dish that the kids and adults alike would also enjoy. No easy feat since I knew there were a few picky eaters in the mix. After roasting an array of veggies I tossed them with a zingy, maple syrup-sweetened vinaigrette to lightly coat every bite. Healthy and light, filling enough for the adults yet alluring and sweet enough that the kids would give it a try, this Roast Veggie Salad turned out special.
Easy Breezy Roast Veggie Salad
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch coins (about 1 cup)
- 1 delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch halfmoons
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 7-ounce bag arugula (or any salad mixed greens of your choice, such as romaine, spring greens or butter lettuce)
Optional additional toppings:
- golden raisins, craisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, goat cheese, brie, toasted walnuts, toasted pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place the chopped veggies on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss to combine and spread in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake veggies for 30 minutes, until fork tender and lightly caramelized. Cool completely.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and salt.
- In a large salad bowl, toss together the arugula, cooled veggies and dressing and toss to evenly coat.
So, so good! I made this for lunch today and even my dubious (not a squash fan) husband, after tasting my lunch, said I love this! Breathtaking recipe!! Thanks!
Incredibly yummy! I used acorn squash instead of delicata and the recipe still delivers. The sweet, creamy texture of the roast veggies are a stand-alone snack; when added to the greens and mixed with the zippy dressing…wow!! An instant classic in our home that made this dad feel like a nutrition hero for a night.
You can use honey, but add it a little later in the cooking time as it might burn if left in the oven for too long!
Can I use honey instead of maple syrup? Or just sugar?
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Tried it, LOVED it. My 9 month old really loved the roasted veggies. New favorite!
I used regular walnuts and red walnuts!
In the picture it looks like you have walnuts maybe and something dark red, but I can’t tell-was there something additional you added for the photo? Thanks
I’m so trying this recipe with my nephew!
I want this in a huge oversized bowl, right now!
I am loving this salad!! I’d be happy to eat it for lunch and dinner daily!
This sounds really simple and so healthy Catherine! In fact, it’s so versatile that I think I will probably add some chickpeas or some other type of protein to make it a complete meal for the family. Thanks for your continuous creativity!
leftovers will last about 1 day, but much longer if you keep it unassembled!
This looks delicious! Would leftovers last another day in the fridge? Or best to keep is “unassembled” if you don’t think you will eat it all at once?