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Roasted Root Vegetable Bread Salad, a la Essential Baking Company

Posted By Chris On February 27, 2010 @ 4:15 pm In Salads and Light Soups,Vegetarian | 4 Comments

Local, organic bakery The Essential Baking Company has a few caf├ęs around town, and I’ve been enjoying their bread salad on a pretty regular basis, so much so that I decided I had to recreate it at home. I love the mix of roasted yams, beets, and leeks (!), and when tossed with big chunks of crispy-on-the-outside bread, mixed greens, and balsamic vinaigrette, it’s a salad I just can’t say no to. In a wonderful instance of kismet, our CSA box this week provided both the yams and beets for this recipe.

Roasted Root Vegetable Bread Salad
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 medium beets
2 medium/large yams, peeled and sliced 3/4″ thick
2 leeks, washed and sliced on a bias into 1/2″ thick pieces
favorite day-old bread (we used Essential Bakery’s Rosemary Diamante), cut into 1″ cubes
mixed salad greens
balsamic vinaigrette

Preheat the oven to 400F. Arrange oven racks so that both can be used during the roasting process. The beets take the longest, so you should be able to swap in the remaining vegetables to roast while the beets are going.
Wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Place the beets on a cooking sheet and into the oven, on the lower rack, for 45 minutes to an hour, until a knife pressed into a beet gives little resistance. While the beets are roasting, toss the yams in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Turn out onto a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, flipping once, until soft on the inside but still a bit crisp on the outside. Set aside to cool. Toss the leeks with just a little olive oil and turn onto a baking sheet, and roast for about 10 minutes, until soft and just starting to brown. Set aside to cool. When the beets are ready, remove and open the foil packets. When cool enough to handle, peel the outer layer and cut into chunks.
Meanwhile, toss the bread cubes in a little olive oil (sounding familiar?), place on a baking sheet and bake just until crisp on the outside — you don’t want to make rock-hard croutons.
Now you can just throw everything, including the salad greens, into a bowl, add enough dressing to your liking, toss until coated, and serve! Season as desired.

2-3 servings.

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