I took a week off from posting on the blog to work on some new recipes for the fall, and today I am back to share this Tropical Root Vegetable Salad with Salsa Rosada Dressing! This salad is packed with a colorful mix of fruits and roasted vegetables and is finished with my version of the popular Latin American sauce/salad dressing. It’s vibrant and fun! Read on to learn more.
This past week away from the blog has been a bit sad, because I truly enjoy posting and hearing from you all every Sunday. But it has also been rewarding. This week has helped me to set a vision for the blog. I have always wanted Sweet & Sorrel to be a place where I can share a bit of myself through my food. My vision is to continue to post recipes inspired by the flavors of the Caribbean (which includes many different parts of the world since so many countries have influenced, or are influenced by, the Caribbean!). But I also want to challenge myself to improve my food photography so that my recipes AND my photos work together to convey the vibrant, diverse culture that I come from. I am learning so much and I can’t wait to share it with you all!
Alright, now to the recipe…
Is it even right to make a recipe for a salad? Most of my salads are just a mix of whatever I have in my pantry and usually take very little time to make. But sometimes, that’s how the best recipes are made! I mean, how could anything made with these fresh fruits and vegetables not taste great?!
The idea for this salad came when I got a little homesick. Away from home, it can be hard to make the meals that my mom usually prepares. Whenever I’m feeling a bit homesick, I just throw together every delicious thing I used to eat at home into a salad. Its a quick fix for both my hunger and my homesickness!
Because autumn is right around the corner, I thought root vegetables would be great in a salad. Ingredients like ripe plantains, pumpkin (i.e. the Caribbean version of squash), sweet potatoes, and carrots are all popular in the islands and invoke the feelings of a warm fall day.
For the base of the salad, I mixed together some leafy greens and kale. Kale is definitely NOT a Caribbean staple. Actually, when my parents and I first tried kale, we hated it because we prepared it like callaloo, a type of leafy greens that is common in Jamaica. We sauteed the kale stems and all! Unsurprisingly (to everyone but us), the cooked kale turned out very bitter because the stems are inedible. Once we discovered that we have to remove the stems and (if eating raw) massage the kale before eating, we became huge fans!
So we have roasted root vegetables, check.
Salad greens, check.
Now on to this salad dressing!
A friend and I recently went out for lunch at a Venezuelan restaurant. We ordered yucca fries and silly me, I asked for ketchup to dip my fries (don’t judge). We were quickly informed that ketchup was definitely not a thing at a Latin American restaurant but the hostess kindly offered to bring us some salsa rosada.
Seriously. My friend and I put it on everything. We dipped our arepas in salsa rosada. We topped our black beans and rice with salsa rosada. We had yucca fries and salsa rosada. And it all tasted great.
Somehow, I convinced our hostess to share the recipe and I have been trying out my own versions of the sauce ever since. Salsa Rosada is basically just a mix of mayonnaise and ketchup, which I admit did sounds a little weird but once you try it, you’ll know why it’s so addictive.
For this salad, I made a lighter salsa rosada using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. I also added some yellow mustard, vinegar (which you can’t taste!), and lemon juice to give the sauce a little tang. Think of it as a Latin American version of Thousand Island dressing 🙂 !
Photo credit this week has to be shared with my dad, whose advice helped me to think about color!
So here’s to a colorful (but in my dad’s words, not too colorful) autumn salad!
If you like this recipe, be sure to tag #SweetandSorrel and let me know in the comments below.
- 1 medium plantain
- 1 small pumpkin (kabocha or butternut squash works great!)
- 1 medium eggplant
- 3 small carrots
- 1 cup of broccoli florets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- mango, to garnish
- 2 tbsp nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- juice of one lime
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Prepare vegetables by peeling and slicing them into different shapes to add interest. I cut the sweet potatoes into rounds, made long strips using the carrots, and cut the plantains diagonally. Have fun with it!
- Drizzle olive oil over the root vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place vegetables onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning half way through.
- To make the salsa rosada dressing, whisk together Greek yogurt and water until yogurt achieves a creamy consistency. Add ketchup, mustard, vinegar, lime, and salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Keep the dressing in the fridge until ready to use.
- To assemble the salad, combine greens and root vegetables in a bowl. Top with a little (or a lot!) of the salsa rosada and garnish with mango and tomatoes. Then, enjoy!