Dale Mackay’s Roasted and Raw Root Vegetable Salad

19 Sep

Chef-owner of Saskatoon’s soon-to-open Ayden Kitchen & Bar, Dale Mackay, makes a mean roasted and raw root vegetable salad, with crunchy croutons and balsamic dressing. If you’re going to try one new thing for Thanksgiving dinner this year, make it this dish: the combination of sweet, tart and fresh flavours and of crispy, tender and chewy textures is phenomenal.

Dale Mackay, Top Chef Canada Season 1 winner, at Ayden, the chef’s new rustic bistro named after his son.
Photo: Jean-Francois Frenette/ dezjeff.com

Roasted and Raw Root Vegetable Salad

Photo: Jean-Francois Frenette/ dezjeff.com


150 mL (2/3 cup) balsamic vinegar
5 mL (1 tsp) Dijon mustard
4 cloves roasted garlic
300 mL (1 & ¼ cups) olive oil

1 bunch kale
1 sweet potato
1 turnip
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
150 g (5 oz) dried cranberry
250 g (8 oz) rustic bread croutons (sourdough)
100 g (3 oz) Parmesan-Reggiano (grated)
Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

To make dressing:
Place vinegar, Dijon and garlic into a small mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until garlic is fully incorporated.  Slowly add oil, stirring with a whisk continuously, until all is emulsified. Set aside.

To make salad:
Pick the kale into thumb size pieces.  Put into an ice bath to refresh and then drain with a salad spinner or colander and lay out onto a dry paper towel. Reserve 2/3 to add raw to salad and put 1/3 in a small bowl, ready for cooking.

Cut sweet potato and turnip in half. Grate one half of each with a box grater, and set aside to be added raw to salad. Cut the remaining halves into approximately ½-in (1.3-cm) diced pieces.

In a hot roasting pan on medium-high heat on the stovetop, with enough olive oil to just coat the bottom, sauté diced root vegetables with a shake of salt. Allow to caramelize slightly, turning occasionally, then add 1/3 kale. Turn kale pieces occasionally, so each side browns slightly and becomes a little crispy.  Lay out all the hot ingredients onto a tray lined with paper towel, to soak up excess fat.

Photo: Jean-Francois Frenette/ dezjeff.com

5. Place all the cooked and remaining raw salad ingredients into a large mixing bowl, pour dressing over top, toss and finish with fresh cracked pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes, so the acid of the dressing breaks down the raw vegetables. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Photo: Jean-Francois Frenette/ dezjeff.com

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Dale used the Le Creuset 2.4 L Rectangular Roaster to make this dish. Bookmark the Open Kitchen blog, valsopenkitchen.com, for more fall recipes from top Canadian chefs, using Le Creuset cookware, this week. Then visit our contest page, where we’re giving away $1296 of Le Creuset goodies. Good luck!

Ayden chefs Dale Mackay (left) and Nathan Guggenheimer (right)
Photo: Jean-Francois Frenette / dezjeff.com

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