When it starts getting depressingly cold and dark outside, warm up to this next-level main dish salad that offers up a bounty of nutritional bell-ringers.
3 medium-sized red or golden beetroots,
peeled, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2 in (125 cm) pieces
3 Tbsp (45 mL) grapeseed oil or sunflower oil, divided
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, divided
2 red apples, sliced into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) wedges
3/4 cup (180 mL) dry green or black (beluga) lentils
4 cups (1 L) baby kale
2 oz (56 g) crumbled soft goat cheese
1/3 cup (80 mL) sliced unsalted roasted almonds
1/4 cup (60 mL) dried cherries
3 Tbsp (45 mL) pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp (30 mL) cider vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped shallot
2 tsp (10 mL) coarse grain Dijon mustard
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C) and place rimmed baking sheet in oven as it heats.
In bowl, toss beets and carrots with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Roast on heated baking sheet in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Stir vegetables and then add apples to baking sheet. Roast for another 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
As vegetables cook, in saucepan, place lentils, 3 cups (750 mL) water, and a couple pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender but not too soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
To assemble salad, divide baby kale, lentils, and roasted vegetables among 4 serving plates. Scatter on goat cheese, almonds, and dried cherries.
In microwave-safe bowl, whisk together remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil, maple syrup, cider vinegar, shallot, mustard, thyme, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, and pepper. Heat in microwave for 1 minute, or until warmed. You can also warm dressing in a small saucepan on stovetop. Drizzle warm dressing over salad before serving.