This sweet and savory balsamic roast vegetable salad is crazy versatile and easy to throw together. Serve cold as a salad, warm as a side dish or even serve with a baguette for a wonderful appetizer. Mix in some quinoa and you have a filling and nutritious vegetarian and healthy meal.
I love to roast! It’s great for meats, it’s great for poultry and it’s better for vegetables!!! Roasting is one of the easiest cooking techniques, in my opinion. You basically heat your oven to the desired temperature and cook your food. Boom. That’s it.
And when you have a house of picky eaters, having the meat and veggies separate makes dinner time more peaceful for all.
Today, I am sharing my go to salad that I make for guests, as an appetizer or a side dish. This balsamic roasted vegetable salad is incredibly easy to throw together and you can vary the vegetables with whatever you have on hand.
What kind of vegetables can I use for roasting?
Roasted vegetables are one of my favorite side dishes. Roasting not only makes the veggies caramelized and full of flavor, but it also gives the veggies a bit of crispiness (something steamed vegetables really lacks). For this particular recipe, I chose to use mediterranean vegetables:
- bell peppers
- red onions
I chose portobello mushrooms for this particular version, but you can use any fat mushroom like white and baby cremini mushrooms. Red onions are really flavorful, but you can also choose regular white, yellow or even sweet Vidalia onions.
You can also do this with broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Asparagus can also be used, but will require much less roasting time. Throw them in in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Tips on roasting vegetables
The key to roasting vegetables so that they caramelize and crisp up is to NOT OVERCROWD THE PAN. You want the vegetables to fit on your baking sheet in one even layer. If you overcrowd, your vegetables will steam and turn to mush.
When I am roasting a lot of vegetables for a crowd, I typically divide the veggies into two sheets and roast them separately. It goes by quickly, so the extra step doesn’t take very long.
You also want to make sure that you cut the vegetables to be about the same size. You do not want some vegetables to be big and fat and undercooked and the small vegetables to be burnt.
How to serve balsamic roasted vegetables
As I stated earlier, I serve this basic recipe in a number of different ways. If I serve it as a side dish to a nice roasted chicken or prime rib, I like to serve them warm, fresh out of the oven. You can also serve it cold, like a salad.
My favorite way to serve up my balsamic roasted vegetables is as an appetizer. Typically it’s at room temperature and served with a big basket of toasted baguette slices, kalamata olives and even a charcuterie board. So amazing and always a crowd pleaser!
I also serve this as a light meal and toss in some cooked quinoa. The quinoa soaks up the delicious vinaigrette, so if you do use quinoa add more oil and vinegar to the mix. Serve it vegetarian style or toss in some shrimp.
Now do you see why I love this dish so much? It’s not just a plate of boring vegetables.
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBS + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 5 Italian eggplants, cut down the center and halved
- 3 zucchini, cut down the center and halved
- 2 portobello mushrooms, gills removed and sliced
- 1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded & cut into thick slices
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded & cut into thick slices
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh basil
- Preheat broiler to 450ºF.
- Cut eggplants and zucchini into ½-inch rounds.
- Wipe portobello mushrooms clean with a paper towel and cut into ¼-inch thick slices.
- Peel onion and cut into wedges about same thickness as rest of vegetables.
- Core and remove seeds from bell peppers and cut into thick pieces.
- In a large bowl whisk together olive oil, 2 TBS vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Mix vegetables in with the oil and vinegar.
- Coat vegetables thoroughly and place on a large roasting pan in one layer.
- Roast for 15 minutes, then stir vegetables and continue roasting and stirring vegetables until browned, about 20-30 minutes.
- Remove vegetables, place in serving bowl and let cool, about 10 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning and stir in extra teaspoon of vinegar, if needed.
- Toss vegetables with chopped fresh basil and serve.
Serving Suggestions: Serve as a side dish or as an appetizer over slices of baguette with kalamata olives and marinated artichoke hearts. It even works beautifully with a charcuterie board.
For a light meal, you can also stir in 1-2 cups of cooked quinoa.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 268Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 496mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 14gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g