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The story behind this recipe
“Eat your veggies!”
How many times have you heard this as a child or said it to your own child?
Vegetables are essential to our health, but they have traditionally been presented as a boring and disgusting side that we absolutely have to eat in order to move on to a more appetizing part of our meals… Dessert anyone?!
Becoming vegetarian and later vegan has given me a whole new appreciation for vegetables. Veggies don’t have to be dull, boring, or “that thing” we eat very reluctantly. In fact, they can be the center of many colorful and tasty dishes. There is such an incredible variety of vegetables out there with all kinds of flavors, colors, and textures… You cannot get tired! You just have to find which ones you love, like, and dislike.
In that sense, roasting vegetables has truly become my favorite way of eating my veggies.
I have been using this recipe on a regular basis for about four years now.
I buy different vegetables every time depending on what is in season and what I feel like eating, to keep it varied and interesting.
Aside from the vibrant colors on my plate, what I love about it is the blend of acidity and sweetness with each bite. In addition, there are so many ways in which you can eat this Roasted Veggie Salad! It tastes great both warm and cold, and pairs well with rice, pasta, couscous, polenta, mashed potatoes, and red wine… One of my favorite ways involves spreading hummus inside a warm pita bread and filling it with these veggies.
A few tips for this recipe
Growing up, we never roasted our vegetables. They were either eaten raw, sautéed, boiled, or steamed. So, if like my younger self you are not sure how to roast veggies, here is the main thing you need to take into account: Vegetables have different cooking times!
However, as you are about to find out, for the sake of time (and because I dislike cleaning dishes), this recipe involves cooking all of them on the same baking sheet for the exact same amount of time. So, the success of this recipe lies in cutting the veggies properly!
Here are some tips:
- Mushrooms and green beans should be left as a whole.
- Brussel sprouts should be halved.
- Yellow squash, zucchini, and eggplant contain a large amount of water and therefore cook fast, so you want to cut them into thick slices or chunks.
- Onions and bell peppers are thinner but tougher, so you can cut the onions into wedges and the peppers into thick slices.
- Carrots and potatoes take the longest time, so they usually cook better when cut into smaller pieces. I usually cut carrots into halves and then 3 or 4 times lengthwise, depending on their size. As for potatoes, I either dice them, slice them, or make wedges depending on which vegetables I am cooking with.
Now that you are fairly well-versed in the science of cutting veggies, here is the recipe. Try it and let me know what you think!
Roasted Veggie Salad
FOR THE SALAD
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 carrots
- 2 potatoes
- 1 lb whole mushrooms
- 1 eggplant small
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 onion large
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt, pepper, and oregano
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
FOR THE DRESSING
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat your oven at 400F (200C).
- Wash and cut the eggplant and tomatoes into chunks.
- Peel, wash, and cut the carrots and potatoes into chunks.
- Peel and cut the onion into thick wedges.
- Wash the bell pepper, remove its seeds and cut it into large slices.
- Wash the mushrooms, but do not cut them.
- Place all the ingredients into a large bowl.
- Add salt, pepper, oregano, and olive oil to the bowl and mix well in order to coat the vegetable.
- Spread the vegetable onto 1 or 2 baking sheets.
- Put the baking sheet(s) on the middle grid of the oven, and cook for 35 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, oil, honey, and lemon juice together.
- As soon as your veggies are out of the oven, place them in a large serving bowl.
- Pour the salad dressing on top and mix gently.
- Cover and let sit for 10 minutes, so the veggies soak in the sweetness and acidity of your dressing, before serving.