It should be spring,’s not. It’s March on the Vineyard! We still need something to take the chill off, but we’re craving light and green and spring-y. Ta-da! A hearty supper salad with the prettiest, sturdiest greens you can find (baby kale, spinach, escarole, frisee, endive) and a mix of tiny roasted root vegetables. A warm shallot dressing and extras like feta and cranberries and toasted nuts give lots of contrast and interest, and there’s plenty of room for substitutions. But stick with the roasted veg method here; it’s quick and the results have great flavor and texture. Be sure to use two baking sheets (unless you’re cutting the recipe in half, which you certainly can) so that you don’t crowd the veg. Feel free to add crumbled bacon or salami crisps to this – or use it as a base for steak or chicken.

While the salad is intended to be served with the vegetables and vinaigrette still warm, you can certainly also serve everything at room temperature (as I often do) if timing is a concern.

Serves 4 as a light supper or hearty base salad

For the salad:

  • 1½ to 1¾ pounds combination sweet potatoes (unpeeled), potatoes (unpeeled), carrots (peeled), parsnips (peeled), turnips (unpeeled), beets (unpeeled), and\or butternut squash (peeled), cut into small dice (about 3/8-inch in diameter) (about 5 to 6 cups)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 to 7 cups combination sturdy mixed winter greens (such as baby kale, spinach, escarole, frisee, endive, arugula, mustard, or tat soi)
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted nuts of any kind (pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)
  • ½ to 2/3 cup crumbled good quality blue cheese, feta cheese, goat cheese or 1/3 cup coarsely grated aged gouda or Parmigiano
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped dried cherries, cranberries, raisins, figs, pitted dates, or other dried fruit (optional)


For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, or cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice (more to taste)
  • ½ teaspoons lemon or lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves (or any herb you like)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat the oven to 450°F. Line two large rimmed heavy-duty baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large, wide mixing bowl, combine the veggies, the 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and a scant teaspoon kosher salt. Toss well and spread in one layer on the two baking sheets. Roast, rotating the sheet pans once (and flipping the veg with a spatula if you like), until the veggies are nicely browned and tender, about 28 to 30 minutes. Let cool for a couple minutes on the sheet pans and then combine in a mixing bowl.

2. While the vegetables are roasting, put the greens in a wide heat-proof mixing bowl. Set out four serving plates.

3. Make the vinaigrette: Heat the 1/3 cup olive oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are browned and crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and remove the shallot rings with a fork, transferring them to a paper-towel lined plate. Let the oil cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, the maple syrup, the Dijon, the juice, the zest, the herbs, ¼ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper. Whisk vigorously until the dressing is mostly emulsified. (Alternatively, first transfer the shallot-infused oil to a heat-proof Pyrex liquid measure, add the other ingredients and whisk well. This is a slightly less awkward way of making the dressing). Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lemon or lime juice, salt or pepper as needed.

4. Season the greens with a sprinkling of kosher or sea salt and drizzle over them a few tablespoons of the warm vinaigrette. (Be sparing at this point). Toss well, taste, and add a little more dressing if necessary. Arrange most of the greens on your plates or platter. Sprinkle with half of the nuts, cheese, and fruit.

5. Season the roasted veggies with a pinch more salt, and dress them lightly with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Toss well and scatter over the greens. Garnish with remaining nuts, cheese, fruit, greens, and reserved shallots. Serve right away, passing the remaining dressing if desired.