If I had one of those weekly menu calendars – meatloaf Mondays, taco Tuesdays, pork chop Thursdays – some version of this would be on my roster. I tend to gravitate toward it every January, when I sit down and make a list of dishes made up of mostly vegetables that I really, truly love to eat, and decide that I’m going to make an effort to eat them more often, rather than always load up on bagels and toast. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that… there are just too many things right with it.)
This salad of sorts is also the perfect example of how we don’t always need a recipe per se, sometimes all you need is a general guideline. I can definitively say I’ve never measured out feta for a salad, but just crumbled some over, measuring by eyeball. Yes, I picked up some lacinato kale (the smooth dark green kind, also called Tuscan or dinosaur kale) and a thick-necked butternut squash to make it, but those small, dark-fleshed sweet potatoes would work just as well. And I thought I’d roast some chickpeas along with the squash until I realized I had half a cauliflower in the fridge waiting to be used. It occurred to me later than roasted new potatoes would be equally delish.
The great thing about veggies is that they’re almost always improved by roasting, and you can toss a bunch of them on the sheet together. The great thing about roasting things is it doesn’t much matter what temperature and for how long – it will depend on how big or small your pieces are, so you’ll need to keep an eye on things anyway. I had some bread in the oven, so the veg went in alongside at 350 for awhile before the bread was done and I cranked the heat up to 450. As long as they’re soft and golden on the edges, it doesn’t much matter which route they took to get there. And even if you forego the kale or the feta or the chopped nuts, most any kind of roasted veggie benefits from being doused in lemony, garlicky tahini dressing.