Every October in Quebec, it’s very easy to be inspired by all the autumn colors around us when we’re dreaming up our monthly salads. In 2020, we created the Feel Good Fall salad, and it was a huge success: gorgeous roasted rainbow carrots with fennel seeds, candied pecans, creamy goat cheese, and a tangy pomegranate dressing. A delicious and harmonious autumn feast!
Excerpted from More Mandy’s: More Recipes We Love by Mandy Wolfe, Rebecca Wolfe and Meredith Erickson. Copyright © 2022 Amanda Wolfe and Rebecca Wolfe. Photography by Alison Slattery, Two Food Photographers. Design by Cow Goes Moo. Illustrations by Neethi. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
This recipe will yield extra roasted carrots, candied pecans and dressing. Store for future salads.
First, prepare the fennel-roasted carrots: Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a bowl, toss the carrots with the olive oil, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper. Spread the carrots onto a parchment-lined sheet tray. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until soft and golden. Remove from the oven, set aside to cool, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
While the carrots roast, prepare the candied pecans. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and 3 tablespoons of water and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to bubble. Add the pecans, stirring to coat, and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the pecans and their syrup to a parchment-lined sheet tray, spreading out with a spatula to flatten. Allow to cool completely. Use your hands to break into bite-size pieces and set aside until ready to assemble salad. Leftover pecans can be stored in an airtight container and stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Next, prepare the pomegranate dressing. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, pomegranate juice, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and whisk to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool. In a blender, combine the cooled pomegranate syrup, lemon juice, and mustard. Process on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined, 15 to 20 seconds. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides of the jar with a spatula as needed. With the blender running on low speed, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified and thickened, about 30 seconds. Add the salt and pepper, adjusting the seasoning to taste. Transfer the dressing to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble, combine all of the salad ingredients in a large stainless-steel bowl. Top with the dressing and, using tongs, toss until well mixed and dressed.