Perk Up Your Winter Palate With These Roasted Vegetable Salad Recipes

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Chef Kathy Gunst’s roasted cabbage with chive-mustard-caper vinaigrette. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Chef Kathy Gunst’s roasted cabbage with chive-mustard-caper vinaigrette. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

How do you brighten up boring winter veggies? Roast them for a winter salad, says Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst. She brings host Robin Young a pair of recipes to try.

Winter vegetables aren't all that sexy: Cabbage, carrots, parsnips and Brussels sprouts can feel old and boring at this point in the season. But roasting can bring out the natural sweetness in these vegetables, and help you create simple, delicious salads that make for excellent winter eating.

Experiment with other winter vegetables: toss them with olive oil or walnut oil and then serve on arugula and winter greens, thinly sliced fresh fennel, crumbled feta cheese, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, crumbled bacon or pancetta, grated Parmesan, etc.

Roasted Cabbage With Chive-Mustard-Caper Vinaigrette

Cabbage wedges are roasted at a high temperature, creating an amazing texture and sweet flavor. Serve the roasted cabbage wedges drizzled with the chive-mustard vinaigrette as a side dish for roast poultry, meat or fish, or alone with crusty bread.

The salad can be made a few hours ahead of time and the vinaigrette can be made a day or two ahead.

Serves 4.

The Salad

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or cooking spray to grease the pan
  • 1/2 medium green cabbage (1 to 1 1/2 pounds), outer leaves removed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

The Vinaigrette

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white balsamic or white-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained


  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Grease a large baking sheet with canola oil or cooking spray. To prepare the cabbage, cut it into four wedges and remove the thick core, leaving the wedges as intact as possible. Drizzle the cut sides with the 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the wedges flat-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast the cabbage for 12 minutes. Carefully flip over (it's OK if it falls apart a little) and roast until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes more.
  3. To prepare the vinaigrette: Combine the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add chives, oil and capers; stir until well combined. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Transfer the cabbage to a serving plate (or plates) and drizzle with the vinaigrette while still hot. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Roasted radicchio with lemon and herb ricotta and hazelnuts, from chef Kathy Gunst. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Roasted radicchio with lemon and herb ricotta and hazelnuts, from chef Kathy Gunst. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Burnt Radicchio Salad With Herbed Ricotta, Honey, Lemon And Nuts

El Rey Luncheonette was a tiny coffee house on the Lower East Side of Manhattan filled with hipsters in flannel shirts and long, exotic beards. It has since closed, but this is my take on their exceptional burnt radicchio salad.

Radicchio, a type of Italian chicory with a pleasing, bitter taste, is roasted in a hot oven until crisp and brown on the edges, then served with whipped herbed ricotta, honey, grated lemon zest and nuts. The radicchio can be roasted a day ahead of time, and the recipe can easily be doubled. The radicchio's flavor is a great complement to many rich soups, and also pairs nicely with poultry or seafood.

Serves 6 to 8.


  • 2 small heads radicchio, about 7 ounces, cored and cut into 6 wedges
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus a touch for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, cashews or almonds, chopped*
  • 1/4 cup honey**

*Toast the nuts in a 325-degree oven for about 8 minutes if you have time.

**To make the honey pourable, heat it in a microwave for about 20 seconds, or heat the bottle in a small pot of simmering water until it is thin and pourable.


  1. Heat the oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Place the radicchio in a medium-sized roasting pan or ovenproof skillet, cut side facing up, and drizzle with the oil, salt and pepper. Place on the middle shelf and roast for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to crisp up (just short of burning) and the radicchio is turning a deep color. Remove and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix the ricotta, lemon zest, salt, pepper and chives.
  4. To serve: Using the back of a kitchen spoon or a soft spatula, smear the ricotta on a serving plate. Top with the radicchio and sprinkle the nuts on top. Drizzle the honey over the radicchio and top with just a touch of grated lemon zest and pepper.

Other Ideas For Roasted Winter Vegetables

This segment aired on February 21, 2019.

More From Our Resident Chef:

Kathy Gunst Resident Chef, Here & Now
Kathy Gunst is a James Beard Award-winning journalist and the author of 15 cookbooks.



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