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Roasted vegetables go from side to star in this fall salad

Roasted Vegetable Salad With Tahini and Grapes can be made with any combination of roasted vegetables.  (Tom McCorkle/For the Washington Post)
By Ellie Krieger Special to </p><p>the Washington Post

The roasted vegetables you’ll probably have left over from Thanksgiving may be unintended extras, but once you realize what a treasure they are, I bet you’ll roast a batch regularly just to have them at-the-ready in the refrigerator all season long, like I do. I dip them in hummus as a snack, chop and pile them onto avocado toast, and stuff them into omelets and frittatas. They are easily reheated to be served as a side with roasted chicken or any other protein, and they add seasonal splendor to everyday salads.

Here, roasted vegetables are not just an add-in, they are the focal point. The dish can be made with just about any combination of roasted vegetables, whether seasoned simply or more creatively, so you can use whatever you already have on hand. But it’s also well worth roasting a couple of trays of vegetables ahead of time for the expressed purpose of making it. Below, I’ve included a recipe for a combo I think works especially well – Brussels sprouts, carrots and delicata squash, all seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme.

To make the salad, you chop the vegetables until you have about 4 cups of jewel-toned pieces, and then toss them with a couple of handfuls of baby spinach leaves, some fresh parsley and halved grapes.

The earthy, soft vegetables with the leafy greens and sweet, juicy fruit make for an unforgettable contrast of flavors and texture. They are then married in a creamy lemon-tahini dressing for a salad that can be served as a starter, as part of a spread of small plates or with some protein added as a meal on its own. However you enjoy it, it’s a salad that will surely make you grateful for those extra roasted vegetables.

Roasted Vegetable Salad With Tahini and Grapes

This salad of chopped roasted vegetables with baby spinach leaves, parsley and sweet, juicy grapes, married in a creamy lemony tahini dressing, is a splendid way to use up leftover roasted vegetables. It can be made with just about any combination, whether seasoned simply or more aggressively, so you can use whatever you have on hand. But it’s also well worth roasting a couple of trays of vegetables in advance for the sole purpose of making it. The mix of Brussels sprouts, carrots and delicata squash, seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme, works especially well.

For the roasted vegetables

12 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved

8 ounces medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small delicata squash (10 ounces) halved lengthwise, seeds removed and sliced 1/2-inch thick

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon fine salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped, divided

For the salad

4 cups chopped roasted vegetables, chilled or at room temperature (see below)

2 cups lightly packed baby spinach, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup (3 ounces) halved purple or red grapes

1/4 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/4 cup well-stirred tahini

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 to 4 tablespoons water

Make the roasted vegetables: Position two racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees.

Arrange the Brussels sprouts in a single layer on one large sheet pan, and the carrots and squash on another. Drizzle each pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1/8 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and toss to coat. Redistribute the vegetables evenly on each pan and roast – one sheet on top rack and the other on the bottom rack – for 12 minutes. Then toss the contents of each sheet pan with half of the thyme, return to the oven, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back, and roast for another 12 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and browned in spots. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Make the salad: In a large bowl, toss the roasted vegetables, spinach, grapes and parsley until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dressing reaches a creamy consistency.

Toss the dressing with the vegetables and serve, with additional salt to taste, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (makes about 6 cups)