This past weekend I headed to Montreal to visit our son at McGill University . It is his first year there, and I represented our family at parents weekend, leaving my husband and daughter home to tend to our elderly dog who needs us a bit more than usual in this last stage of life. Unaccustomed to traveling alone, I found myself deep in thought as I drove through the mountains of Vermont, still gloriously blanketed with shimmering fall foliage colors, through the relatively flat areas of southern Quebec, across the St. Lawrence Seaway and, finally, the grandeur of Montreal.
A welcome dinner was held for families at the city’s historic city center. Our son and I shared stories with other new McGill families, were treated to a feast, toasted one another with wine and good wishes, began a journey into new friendships and connections. Later, back at the hotel, I woke at 3AM to what an internal quake. I woke to the realization that the shape of our family has forever changed. Although Clark has been in Montreal since late August, I’ve just fully realized he is gone. Our eldest is launched, building roots in the city of his choice, taking his life in the direction of his choice. The home we have built in New Hampshire will always be his, but he’ll touch down here , not live with us from now on. Al, Isabel and I will have to embody this place, make it our own in new ways. Much to my surprise, it is a wonderful and liberating feeling. I, too, know what I know: this next chapter is grand.
While I was away, Al and Isabel collected our last farm share basket from Cedar Circle Farm. It’s been a great summer and early fall of meals filled with organic vegetables. The final basket included something new to me, a gnarly bulb of celeriac.
An edible root , it was surprisingly tender inside when I cut into it and formed the basis of this salad of Roasted Root Vegetable Rémoulade, Spinach and Crispy Bacon. An elegant addition to our table, this salad formed the center of a perfect meal accompanied by fresh cider, herb bread and a wedge of Vermont goat cheese. Try it and enjoy.
ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLE SALAD
Yield: 4 Servings
For the salad:
- 2 cups root vegetables (your choice, such as carrots, celeriac, potatoes, rinsed, peeled as needed and cut into large chunks
- Olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 strips smoked bacon
- 4 large handfuls fresh spinach or other greens, rinsed, dried and torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 fresh red bell pepper, rinsed, seeded and cut into long strips
For the dressing:
- One half cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Handful fresh parsley leaves, rinsed dried and chopped finely
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line 2 cookie sheets with raised sides with parchment paper.
- Evenly distribute the chopped root vegetables on one of the cookie sheets. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss together to coat vegetables oil and seasonings, then redistribute evenly in the pan. Place in preheated oven.
- Place the bacon on the second prepared cookie sheet. Place in preheated oven.
- Roast the vegetables and bacon until they are cooked through. The vegetables should be golden on the outside, fork tender on the inside. The bacon should be browned and sizzling when done. Cooking times for the vegetables will vary depending on their freshness, 15 to 25 minutes is a good guide. The bacon should take about the same amount of time, perhaps a few minutes less.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Place the spinach and sliced bell paper in a large serving bowl. Toss together, then divide between 4 serving plates.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Once the bacon is cooled, drain excess fat and cut into bite sized pieces.
- Put roasted root vegetables in a medium mixing bowl. Pour on the prepared salad dressing. Toss together to coat.
- Mound the dressed root vegetables on top of the spinach and peppers already on the serving plates. Garnish with chopped back.
- Serve and enjoy.
One Year Ago