Maple Spice Roasted Carrots and Parsnips Salad

Salads can be just as delicious and satisfying in fall and winter as those in the summertime, and this vegetable rich recipe is a perfect example. The combination of warm, maple spice roasted carrots and parsnips, crisp fresh radishes, creamy goat cheese, and toasted pepitas with a bright citrus dressing is a perfect way to enjoy the flavors of the season!

finished-salad-in-large-rimmed-bowl-with-sliced-orange-and-dressing-jar-in-background

A fresh, colorful, and hearty roasted carrots and parsnips salad to brighten up a cold winter’s day!

Shopping at the farmer’s market in the winter can be a unique and rewarding experience. Despite the colder weather, there is still a variety of fresh, locally grown produce available.

Root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, and beets are in abundance, as well as hearty greens like arugula, kale and chard.

Citrus fruits, like orange and lemon, are also at their peak during winter in North America. I was able to find all the fresh produce for this colorful winter salad at my local farmer’s market.

Carrots and parsnips are both part of the parsley family, and are both winter seasonal vegetables, so it’s no surprise they are often paired together in recipes.

They also have similar cooking times, and the nutty, slightly herby flavor of caramelized parsnips perfectly complements the sweet, slightly earthy flavor of the carrots, making them ideal roasting partners in the oven.

roasted-carrots-parsnips-salad-in-wide-rimmed-bowl

In this roasted carrot and parsnip recipe, maple and spice-roasted carrots and parsnips are combined with crisp radishes, and a citrus-based dressing.

The citrus dressing is made with fresh squeezed orange and lemon juices, orange zest, maple syrup, shallots, and apple cider vinegar, giving it a tangy and lightly sweet flavor.

Toasted pepitas and goat cheese add a nice nutty and creamy texture to the salad, giving it a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

The pepitas and goat cheese also add a good source of protein to the salad, making it a great vegetable-focused option for a light lunch or dinner.

For more seasonal fall inspired recipes, check out our hearty autumn chili recipe with squash and sweet potato, our comforting chicken and potatoes in cider cream, and our simple take on the focaccia bread art trend with a festive fall focaccia with bell pepper “maple leaves”.

carrot-parsnip-salad-ingredients

Ingredients you will need for Roasted Carrots and Parsnips Salad

*For full recipe with ingredient measurements, scroll down to the recipe card below.

For the salad

  • carrots and parsnips – roasted to perfection, bringing out their natural nutty, earthy flavor. I like to use rainbow carrots for extra color.
  • pure maple syrup – helps caramelize the carrots and parsnips, creating a slightly crisp exterior that adds texture and depth. The natural maple sweetness also pairs perfectly with their earthy flavors.
  • olive (or avocado) oil – this healthy fat helps to evenly distribute heat and promotes browning and caramelization, which enhances the flavor and texture of the roasted carrots and parsnips.
  • cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg – these warming spices are a classic pairing with roasted root vegetables because their flavor profiles complement each other well.
  • radishes – add a refreshing crispness and a slight spicy kick to the salad.
  • salad greens mix – provides a foundation for the other ingredients, tying them altogether. I like to use a baby salad greens mix from the farmer’s market. These mixes often include baby romaine, kale and spinach, Swiss chard, mizuna, and arugula.
  • goat cheese – adds a creamy texture and tangy flavor to the salad that provides a nice contrast to the sweetness of the roasted carrots and parsnips.
  • roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) – add a nice nutty flavor and crunchy texture. Shhh…I cheated and used DAVID pumpkin pepitas which are already roasted with sea salt.

For the citrus salad dressing

  • lemon and orange juices and orange zest – add a bright, citrusy sweetness to the dressing. Fresh squeezed is best but storebought is also fine, you will just have to omit the zest.
  • apple cider vinegar – adds a deeper, more robust acidity with slightly fruity undertones.
  • maple syrup – adds a rich, natural sweetness with hints of caramel and a subtle smokiness.
  • shallots – provide a savory and slightly pungent flavor in contrast to the other flavors.
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Step-by-step instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Slice the carrots and parsnips into sticks about 2 inches in length.
carrots-parsnips-sliced-on-cutting-board
  • In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Add the sliced carrots and parsnips to the bowl and toss to coat them evenly.
carrots-parsnips-sliced-in-mixing-bowl
  • Arrange the carrots and parsnips in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. You might need two baking sheets in order to avoid crowding them.
  • Roast the carrots and parsnips in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and caramelized.
carrots-parsnips-sliced-on-baking-sheet
  • While the carrots and parsnips are roasting, slice the radishes thinly.
radishes-sliced-on-cutting-board
  • Then, make the citrus dressing by whisking together the orange juice and zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, shallots, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large salad bowl, mix together the leafy greens, crumbled goat cheese, and sliced radishes.
  • Once the roasted carrots and parsnips are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool a few minutes.
  • Add the carrots and parsnips to the salad bowl, add the dressing, and gently toss it all together. *Alternatively, mix the greens with the roasted vegetables and the dressing, then divide among four plates and top with the radishes, goat cheese and pepitas with another drizzle of dressing on top.
  • Sprinkle with the toasted pepitas.
  • Serve the salad immediately and enjoy!

Helpful tips

  • Carrots don’t need to be peeled, just washed and scrubbed clean before slicing. However, peeling the parsnips first is recommended because the outer layer can often be tough.
  • Cut the carrots and parsnips into equal size pieces for more even cooking. For the thicker part of the carrot or parsnip, halve and/or quarter them lengthwise to get equally sized pieces.
  • Make sure to spread out the carrots and parsnips evenly over the baking sheet so they are not too close together. This helps avoid the mushiness that can result because of the steam they produce when they are cooked too close together.
  • For those who are looking for a vegan version, simply omit the goat cheese or use a vegan cheese instead.
  • This recipe is best served immediately, at room temperature. If you want to save leftovers, only dress the portions to be eaten immediately. Then the leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The citrus dressing can be stored separately in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Carrots, parsnips, radishes, mixed greens, goat cheese, and pepitas with a fork in a bowl.

Common Questions

Do parsnips take longer to cook than carrots?

Typically, yes because they are denser than carrots. However, you can account for this when cooking them together by cutting the parsnips into thinner slices to ensure they cook evenly with the carrots.

Should parsnips be peeled before roasting?

Yes, it is generally recommended to peel parsnips before roasting them. The tough outer layer of the parsnip can become quite fibrous and unpleasant to eat when roasted, so peeling them helps to remove this layer and make the parsnips more tender and flavorful.

What flavors go well with parsnips?

  • apple
  • brown sugar
  • butter
  • cream
  • curry
  • ginger
  • maple syrup
  • nutmeg
  • rosemary
  • thyme

Serving suggestions

  • This nutritious and healthy salad can be served on its own as a light vegetarian meal.
  • You could also serve it as a side dish or as a salad course to accompany roast chicken or salmon. Or serve it with our Chicken and Potatoes in Cider Cream Sauce as part of a warm and comforting fall/winter dinner menu.
  • Wine pairing recommendations to try:
    • German Riesling
    • Viognier
    • Gewürztraminer
    • Gruner Veltliner
    • Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, especially New World
roast-carrots-parsnips-salad-in-wide-rimmed-bowl-featured-image
Maplevine Kitchen’s Roasted Carrots and Parsnips Salad

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a rating in the comments below and let us know how it turned out. Your feedback is important to us. Thank you for visiting Maplevine Kitchen!

roast-carrots-parsnips-salad-in-wide-rimmed-bowl-featured-image

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips Salad

Salads can be just as delicious and satisfying in fall and winter as those in the summertime, and this recipe is a perfect example. The combination of warm, maple roasted carrots and parsnips, crisp fresh radishes, creamy goat cheese, and toasted pepitas with a bright citrus vinaigrette dressing is a perfect way to enjoy the flavors of the season!
By: AllieAllie Cleveland
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 462 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the salad

  • 4 large carrots sliced into 2-inch sticks
  • 2 large parsnips peeled and sliced into 2-inch sticks
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • teaspoon ginger ground
  • teaspoon nutmeg ground
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 radishes thinly sliced
  • 6 cups mixed leafy greens
  • 4 oz goat cheese crumbled
  • ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) roasted

For the citrus dressing

  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon shallots minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Slice the carrots and radishes into sticks about 2 inches in length.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Add the sliced carrots and parsnips to the bowl and toss to coat them evenly.
  • Arrange the carrots and parsnips in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Roast the carrots and parsnips in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and caramelized.
  • While the carrots and parsnips are roasting, slice the radishes thinly.
  • Then, make the citrus dressing by whisking together the orange juice and zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, shallots, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large salad bowl, mix together the leafy greens, crumbled goat cheese, and sliced radishes.
  • Once the roasted carrots and parsnips are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool a few minutes.
  • Add the carrots and parsnips to the salad bowl, add the dressing, and gently toss it all together. *Alternatively, mix the greens with the roasted vegetables and the dressing, then divide among four plates and top with the radishes, goat cheese and pepitas with another drizzle of dressing on top.
  • Sprinkle with the toasted pepitas.
  • Serve the salad immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Helpful tips
  • Carrots don’t need to be peeled, just washed and scrubbed clean before slicing. However, peeling the parsnips first is recommended.
  • Cut the carrots and parsnips into equal size pieces for more even cooking. For the thicker part of the carrot or parsnip, halve and/or quarter them lengthwise to get equally sized pieces.
  • Make sure to spread out the carrots and parsnips evenly over baking sheets so they are not too close together. This helps avoid mushiness due to the steam they produce when they are too close together.
  • For those who are looking for a vegetarian or vegan option, just omit the goat cheese.
  • This recipe is best served immediately, at room temperature. If you want to save leftovers, only dress the portions to be eaten immediately. Then the leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The dressing can be stored separately in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Serving suggestions
  • This nutritious and healthy salad can be served on its own as a light vegetarian meal.
  • You could also serve it as a side dish or as a salad course to accompany roast chicken or salmon. Or serve it with our Chicken & Potatoes in Cider Cream Sauce as part of a warm and comforting fall/winter dinner menu.
  • Wine pairing recommendations to try:
    • German Riesling
    • Viognier
    • Gewürztraminer
    • Gruner Veltliner
    • Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, especially New World
*Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Maplevine Kitchen makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Nutrition

Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.8g | Protein: 11.9g | Fat: 32.3g | Saturated Fat: 10.3g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 466mg | Fiber: 6.6g | Sugar: 17.9g

*Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Maplevine Kitchen makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Keyword root vegetables
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