Monday, July 22, 2013

Mixed Green Salad with Maple Roasted Rutabaga, Edible Flowers, and Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing...

Sometimes the best thing to ever happen in my kitchen is we run out of food. Im sure many of you start running out of the essentials, as well as fresh produce by the weeks end, - I know it often happens to me, - but rather then look at this as a negative I try and turn it into a positive. Sometimes you have your most creative moments when you’re at your most limited.

Take this salad for instance, it came about entirely out of necessity.  The day I made it all I had left in my fridge were a few sparse handfuls of mixed greens, a couple of tomatoes, a lonely avocado, some green onions and 3 rutabaga and I’d procured for some other purpose and then promptly forgot about. My pantry of course had other things like canned tomatoes, pasta, canned beans, olives but I didn’t want that. I was craving something fresh and light, that was fast, filling and satisfying. Normally when I feel that way a salad is my ‘go-to’ so I quickly began thinking about how I could turn these meager offerings into a salad that would inspire and satisfy my tastebuds.

Now, I can’t say I’ve ever actually eaten a rutabaga before this, and if you asked me why I originally bought them I couldn’t tell you because I can’t for the life of me remember what I had planned to use them for. But, since I had them, and a salad of tomato, avocado and onion isn’t very inspiring - or filling - I thought I’d give them a try. How bad could they be roasted and thrown in with the greens? Maybe they’d taste kind of like beets, sweet and earthy, that works in salad!

So once the salad began taking shape I needed a dressing. This too came into existence out of necessity. I used the things I had on hand, and I chose to use coconut milk yogurt again to provide creaminess because I needed to use the remainder of the container ASAP. Plus it worked out so well on my arugula, beet and walnut salad I thought it was worth trying out again.

While the rutabaga was roasting it filled the kitchen with a heavenly smell, that had me drooling as I diced my veggies and whisked the dressing. By the time they popped out of the oven I couldn’t resist snapping one up and giving it a taste. Wow! Seriously guys, roasted rutabaga? This is like my new favorite thing ever. The tiny bit of maple syrup made it sweet and the Bragg’s made it smokey, this was an absolutely perfect combination. I happily tossed them into the salad, garnished my bowl with some edible flowers I’d picked up in the market, and drizzled on the dressing.

I took my first bite and knew instantly that it was magic! Maybe this combination sounds weird to you, but I assure you it’s not. The flavors blend so much better then even I could have imagined while I was creating it. You get the sweet smokey rutabaga, the bitter arugula, the creamy avo, the acid-sweet tomatoes, mixed in with a rainbow of flavors from wild flowers, and a dressing that is sweet, smokey and tangy. What more could you want?

Mixed Green Salad with Maple Roasted Rutabaga, Edible Flowers, and Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing

Salad - Makes 2 servings

2 Handful Arugula
2 Handful Mixed Baby Greens
2 Tomatoes sliced
1 Avocado sliced
Sunflower Seeds to taste
Green Onions to taste
2oz Edible Flowers
1 Recipe Maple Roasted Rutabaga

- Maple Roasted Rutabaga 

3 Small Rutabaga Cut into small chunks
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp Bragg’s Liquid Amino’s

Preheat Oven to 425'F and roast for 10-15 minutes

- Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing 

4 Tbsp Plain Coconut Milk Yogurt
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp Liquid Smoke

- Preheat Oven to 425'F. Place the cut rutabaga chunks into a bowl and drizzle over the olive oil, maple syrup and Bragg’s. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t measure exactly, but I didn’t use a lot so you can change the tsp quantity to suit your taste. Give the bowl a few good shakes to make sure all the rutabaga is covered in the mixture then spread the rutabaga out onto a baking sheet.

- Bake for 15 minutes until the rutabaga is smelling wonderful, and it’s a nice golden brown. It should be tender-firm.

- While the Rutabaga is roasting prepare your salad by evenly distributing the salad ingredients amongst two bowls.

- Next make the dressing. Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until well combines and smooth. Since the yogurt may want to curdle when you add the mustard in this may take a couple of minutes of vigorous whisking to turn smooth. It will get there however.

- Once the Rutabaga is cooked divide it amongst the two bowls and drizzle the dressing over top of each salad.

Enjoy, on a lazy summer afternoon with a good book, and a drink.


  1. This sounds so good. I love swede (rutabaga). Try it boiled and mashed with a little Earth Balance and pepper. A very English winter comfort food x

  2. Thanks Fran, I've heard of people boiling and mashing rutabaga like potatoes but haven't done it, it sounds really good actually now that I know how awesome this little root veggie is. I'll have to try it :)