As the days become colder and shorter I find myself craving foods that are warming and grounding.  I tend to shy away from raw salads and turn to roasted grain and green salads that often double as meals on their own.  Unlike leafy salads, this one can be refrigerated overnight and enjoyed the next day at room temperature without suffering in the texture department.  Cabbage (red/green), beets, and potatoes have been plentiful and economical at my farmers market (Islip, NY) so I stocked up with no set plan of what to do with all of them.  My parents were set to come over for dinner for some golumpkis (Polish stuffed cabbage…I used collard greens), a dish that gives my wistful look in his eyes when he describes the ones his Polish born grandmother used to prepare for him.  I was pretty young when she passed away but I am building on my father’s taste memories to re-create her dishes.  This salad accompanied them.

I roasted the cabbage, beets, and potatoes separately (at the same time though)  and then tossed them all together with some red onion,  fresh spinach which wilted a bit from the heat,  and some toasted pine nuts.  Fresh horseradish honey mustard dressing cloaked the salad which looked like rough cut gems sparkling on my plate.  The cabbage stayed a deep purple while the beets became redolent of the darkest garnet.  Spinach glistened like slippery emeralds and the potatoes were a creamy white punctuated with amber toasty tones.

Everyone kept going back for seconds and thirds of the salad (golumpkis pretty much finished after all were served once) so I’ll deem this recipe a success.  Dobry posilek (bon appetit)!

Roasted Red Cabbage, Beet, and Potato Salad with Spinach and Horseradish Honey Mustard Dressing
Serves 6 generously

Preheat oven to 375F

2-3 tblsp. olive oil, divided
1 1b head red cabbage, cored and cut into ribbons
3 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1 beet, peeled and cubed
2 tsp. kosher/sea salt
fresh black pepper
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
5 generous handfuls of baby spinach
1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted (I did this on a small baking sheet while roasting vegetables for about five minutes.  Watch them they burn quickly!)

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large bowl, toss the cut cabbage with 1 tblsp. of olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and a few grindings of fresh black pepper.  Spread on a cookie sheet and roast on the bottom shelf of the oven for about 30 minutes, tossing cabbage 1-2 times during cooking.  In same bowl, toss the cubed potatoes with 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grindings of black pepper.   Spread on a cookie sheet and roast on the top portion of the oven for about 30 minutes, tossing 1-2 times during cooking.  In the same bowl, toss the beets with 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grindings of black pepper.  Put in a sheet of foil and fold loosely.  Roast for about 3o minutes.

Toss all roasted vegetables in a serving bowl, add the raw onion and spinach, and sprinkle on the toasted pine nuts.  Adjust with seasoning with salt and pepper and give a splash of olive oil.  Serve with dressing on the side or toss to coat with the dressing.

Horseradish Honey Mustard Dressing (good on many different things as well…like salmon)

2-3 tblsp. freshly grated horseradish (3 tblsp. gives it a really big kick so adjust for your liking)
3 tblsp. mustard (I would’ve liked to use a coarse grained one but only had brown mustard on hand…use what you have)
3 tblsp. plain unsweetened yogurt or sour cream (cashew cream or silken tofu to make vegan)
1-2 tblsp. honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tblsp. water
1 tsp. flax oil (optional)

Whisk all together until creamy of get the job done in a food processor or with a hand blender.