Roots and squashes; mushrooms; and sturdy stalks and bulbs like celery, fennel and onions are viable, easy-to-find options. Roasting not only makes them sweet and wonderfully tender, it also gives you the perfect excuse to crank up the oven, something you’d be hard pressed to do for your average bowl of arugula.
In this dinner-worthy salad, a combination of roasted golden beets, radishes and delicata squash do the heavy lifting, while the green matter — herbs, scallions and frisée (or whatever decent-looking lettuce you can find) — acts more as a bright, refreshing garnish. This is all rounded out by a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch, and pecorino cheese for a salty tang.
Although in general I adore the sweetness of roasted red beets, golden ones are better for this particular salad. Earthy and savory, golden beets are a more sympathetic partner to delicata squash, which becomes deeply caramelized and velvety in the oven’s high heat. Red beets can be almost cloying here, but if they’re all you have, squeeze on some extra lime juice to offset the added sweetness.