Don’t wait for a summer picnic to enjoy pasta salads. Put them into your salad rotation all year round using beautiful, fresh, seasonal vegetables.
This easy and delicious fall and winter pasta salad is full of naturally colorful wagon wheels, sweet roasted radishes, carrots and golden beets, diced shallots, fresh parsley & chives, all coated in a luscious lemon ginger honey dressing.
There is nothing more delicious than roasted root vegetables. Roasting really brings out their natural sweetness. And though the spectacular colors may become muted, the trade off is amazing flavor. I chose golden beets, easter egg radishes and carrots for this pasta salad recipe.
I love the pasta section at Homegoods. Just like seasonal produce, the products come and go and you never know what they will have at any given time of the year. But I came upon this wagon wheel pasta by Marco Zanier. And I highly recommend them. They are slightly bigger than most wagon wheels I’ve had. And they hold up well when cooked. THIS DRESSING, THOUGH! It is everything in this salad. It’s tart, bright, rich flavor really enhances the earthiness of the roasted vegetables. You will want to pour it on everything!
I really love the way the flavors and colors of this salad go together. Best served warm or at room temperature.
The vegetables will shrink a bit while roasting. So I like to keep them a bit bigger than the wheels of pasta. I dress the pasta with half of the incredible lemon-ginger-honey-garlic dressing and pour the remainder over the vegetables before tossing. The greens in this salad are simply a bit of fresh parsley and chives.
This is a perfect salad to portion out in mason jars for your lunch. And I will make this time and again just as it is. But here are some ways you can MAKE IT YOUR OWN:
- I used golden beets, carrots and radishes. But you could also use parsnips, turnips or rutabaga if that’s your thing.
- This would be fantastic with fall and winter squashes as well.
- Use any type of pasta you’d like. Maybe some colorful corkscrew pasta is easier to find. Spinach pasta would add more green to the salad. Or any plain pasta would work, allowing the color of the vegetables to really pop through.
- Use any herbs you’d like to add a bit of green to the salad. Thyme, dill, cilantro would be good. Or serve with arugula, spinach or watercress.
- I love the brightness of the lemon and ginger for the dressing of this salad. But other dressings would add great flavor. Balsamic Vinaigrette, Maple Mustard Dressing, Parmesan Vinaigrette would change up the flavors a bit but would be great choices, too.
- FOR THE SALAD:
- 2 pounds of carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 bunches of radishes, washed, trimmed and cut into halves or quarters
- 6 medium golden beets, peeled and cut into half moons
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 pound of wagon wheel pasta
- ¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh chives
- 5 teaspoons of olive oil, divided
- salt & pepper to season
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- the zest of one lemon (roughly 1 teaspoon)
- 2 Tablespoons of honey
- 2 Tablespoons of freshly grated ginger
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
- Place all of the salad dressings in a bowl and whisk until combined.
- I roasted each pan of vegetables separately so they would not be crowded and would roast more evenly.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Spread the carrots on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, season with salt & pepper to taste and toss.
- Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the carrots are tender and slightly charred.
- Place the radishes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, season with salt & pepper to taste and toss.
- Roast for 20 minutes until tender and browned.
- Place the beets on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, season with salt & pepper to taste and roast for 20-23 minutes until tender and golden.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions for al dente texture.
- Drain the pasta and place in a serving bowl.
- Drizzle with ½ of the dressing and toss.
- Add the parsley, chives and shallot and toss.
- Add the roasted vegetables and the remainder of the dressing and toss.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste.
All of my salads and dressings are just a starting place for your imagination. So feel free to add or swap ingredients and do what works for you!