Roast Winter Vegetable Salad with Sorghum-Bourbon Vinaigrette
From Classic Kentucky Meals: Stories, Ingredients & Recipes From the Traditional Bluegrass Kitchen by Rona Roberts, this salad makes winter vegetables the star and is topped off with Chef Outia Michel’s Sorghum-Bourbon Vinaigrette. Founder of the Holly Hill Inn family of restaurants, Michel advises “the bourbon and the grated onion are both imperative.”
5-6 cups winter vegetables (any selection that is available, like sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, winter squashes, fennel, winter radishes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, etc.)
2 Tbsp. good olive oil, clarified butter or mild bacon grease
1 Tbsp. sorghum
Salt and pepper to taste
12 cups or more of fresh leafy salad greens
Chef Ouita Michel’s Sorghum-Bourbon Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1/2 cup malt or cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1/2 cup pure sorghum
2 tsp. grated onion
Couple shakes Tabasco sauce
1 tsp. salt or to taste
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Clean the vegetables thoroughly and peel them if you like. Cut into spears or wedges. Place parchment paper or foil on your two heaviest baking sheets and put half of the cleaned, cut vegetables on each sheet. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil or fat and half a Tablespoon of sorghum to each baking sheet. Mix well with your hands and spread the vegetables as flat as you can. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered until tender. This may take 45-60 minutes depending on the mix of vegetables. Remove garlic early if it starts to brown. Allow other vegetables to brown around their edges. If you need to hurry them, cover the baking sheets tightly with foil for at least 20 minutes. Then uncover for 10 minutes to get a bit of flavor-rich caramelization.
It is your choice to either let the vegetables cool or use when warm to top salad greens. For serving, either cover a large platter with salad greens and mound warm or room temperature vegetables in the middle, or make individual salads by placing salad greens on salad plates and topping with a generous amount of roast vegetables.
To make the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, bourbon and sorghum together and stir or shake until dissolved. Add the onion, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil. Drizzle over salad. Serves 8.
Photo by Sarah Jane Sanders.