Fall Harvest Salad With Roasted Brassicas, Fingerlings, and Radishes Recipe (2024)

Why It Works

  • Hearty vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, frisee, and radicchio can be prepared in advance and won't wilt quickly once tossed with the dressing.
  • Using radishes and sunchokes both roasted and raw gets lots of texture and flavor mileage out of just two ingredients.

If you're anything like me, the salad at Thanksgiving is the dish you treat most as an afterthought. We plan the turkey, plan the stuffing, plan everything else...and then, you know, we kinda just "make" a salad. Given howsimple yet delicious a salad can be, there's some logic to that. Considering how grand the rest of the meal is, though, it's nice to put a little extra effort into it.

But therein lies the challenge. A little extra effort, as far as salad is concerned, usually means alotof last-minute prep right before serving, which adds stress to an already stressful day of cooking. The fact is, dressing tender greens in advance just leads to wilted lettuce. So my goal with this salad was to hit a few key marks: I wanted it to feel festive and appropriate for the special occasion; I wanted it to be seasonal, celebrating fall with a cornucopia of hearty ingredients; I wanted to design it so that you can prep almost all of it in advance—even a couple days in advance—without its quality suffering; and I wanted it to hold up as it sits once fully dressed so that second and third helpings are just as good as the first.

At the back of my mind when I set out to make a salad that met all these requirements was abeautiful and tasty onemy former colleague,Grace Parisi, an incredibly talented recipe developer, made back when we worked together at Food & Wine. Hers was chock full of different components, some pickled, some roasted, some boiled. It's a great dish, but it's a little too much work for most people to add to an already busy cooking lineup.

Fall Harvest Salad With Roasted Brassicas, Fingerlings, and Radishes Recipe (1)

I thought it would be fun to work with a similar concept while keeping things a lot simpler. To make mine, I took several pounds of mixed brassicas—regular and romanesco broccoli, plus some cauliflower—and roasted them until browned and tender. Don't worry if you can't find romanesco broccoli at your market: You can use an equal weight of whichever brassicas you can find (Brussels sprouts would be great in the mix as well).

While the brassicas roasted, I put some radishes and sunchokes in a couple of small skillets and roasted them in the oven too. It's possible to fit it all in the oven at once, so it's not too much of a time investment.

At the same time, I put a mix of fingerling potatoes in a pot on the stovetop and simmered them until tender. The key to making them taste great is to simmer them in generously salted water (I didn't go as high-salt asKenji does in his salt-boiled potatoes, but it might work great here) with aromatics and herbs, like rosemary and garlic.

Fall Harvest Salad With Roasted Brassicas, Fingerlings, and Radishes Recipe (2)

For the dressing, I made abasic vinaigrette similar to Kenji'sand added tarragon for some extra flavor.

When you're ready to serve, just combine the brassicas and potatoes with some thinly sliced raw radishes and sunchokes, frisee and radicchio, parsley leaves, and the dressing.

The roasting and boiling steps and making the dressing are the most involved parts of the recipe, but you can do all that a few days ahead and then refrigerate everything until Thanksgiving day; just let them come to room temperature before finishing the salad. Even the frisee, radicchio, parsley leaves, and sliced radishes and sunchokes are robust enough to be prepped a day ahead without trouble.

That's what I love about this salad—it looks impressive and is so delicious, but all the make-ahead parts remove the stress. And it won't wilt much once dressed. You can just toss it all together and soak up the praise.

November 2014

Recipe Details

Fall Harvest Salad With Roasted Brassicas, Fingerlings, and Radishes Recipe

Prep10 mins

Cook80 mins

Active60 mins

Total90 mins

Serves6to 10 servings


  • 5 pounds mixed brassicas, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and romanesco broccoli, cut into florets (see note)

  • 1 3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • Kosher salt

  • 3/4 pound radishes (about 15 large radishes), 1/2 pound quartered and 1/4 pound thinly sliced on a mandoline (see note)

  • 1 1/2 pounds sunchokes, 1 pound cut into 3/4-inch chunks and 1/2 pound peeled and sliced thinly on a mandoline (see note)

  • 1 1/2 poundsmixed fingerling potatoes (see note)

  • 2 sprigs rosemary

  • 5 medium cloves garlic

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 cup packed tarragon leaves, chopped

  • 2 loosely packed cups picked parsley leaves (from one bunch; see note)

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted (see note)

  • 2 small heads frisee lettuce, cored and trimmed of damaged leaves (see note)

  • 1 small head radicchio, halved, cored, and cut into 1-inch strips (see note)


  1. Adjust oven rack to upper and lower middle positions. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). In a large bowl, toss brassicas with 1/2 cup olive oil, season with salt, and spread in an even layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast, rotating sheets halfway through cooking, until tender and browned, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.

  2. When brassica are cooked, toss radish quarters with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt, and arrange in an even layer on one of the now-empty rimmed baking sheets. Toss sunchoke chunks in 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt, and arrange in an even layer on the second rimmed baking sheet. Season all vegetables with salt. Roast radishes and sunchokes until each is tender and browned, about 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

  3. Meanwhile, put fingerling potatoes in a Dutch oven, cover with water and season generously with salt. Add rosemary and garlic and heat over medium-high heat until barely simmering. Lower heat and cook at a very gentle simmer until potatoes can be pierced with a fork with no resistance, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly in cooking water, then drain and discard rosemary and garlic. Cut fingerlings into 1/4-inch thick coins.

  4. Using an immersion blender or standing blender, blend cider vinegar, shallot, Dijon mustard, tarragon, and a large pinch of salt until thoroughly combined and tarragon and shallot are finely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk in remaining 1 cup olive oil. Season with salt, if needed.

  5. In a large salad bowl, combine roasted brassicas, roasted radishes, and roasted sunchokes with potato slices, radish slices, sunchoke slices, parsley leaves, sunflower seeds, frisee, and radicchio. Add dressing and toss gently with clean hands until salad is evenly coated. Season with salt to taste and serve.

Special Equipment

2 rimmed baking sheets, immersion blender or standing blender


The roasted brassicas, boiled whole potatoes, and dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated; let come to room temperature before finishing salad and serving. Sunflower seeds can be toasted up to 5 days in advance and held in an airtight container. Frisee, parsley leaves, and radicchio can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated in airtight containers with a moist (but not wet) paper towels. Sliced raw radishes can be held in water in the refrigerator for 1 day; sliced raw sunchokes can be held in water with lemon juice in the refrigerator for 1 day. Use whichever brassicas you can find—halved Brussels sprouts would be great here in place of the romanesco if you can't find it.

Read More

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Fall Harvest Salad With Roasted Brassicas, Fingerlings, and Radishes Recipe (2024)


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