A couple months ago I roasted vegetables for my first time ever and haven’t been able to stop since. Why had I not been doing this for years?! It’s so simple to do, is pretty hands off, and the results are always delicious. Seriously, if you are a fan of vegetables or trying to become one roasted veggies are the way to go.
This salad is one of my standard weeknight dishes for several reasons:
1. It’s simple
2. It’s versatile.
3. It’s inexpensive
And 4. It makes so much you can easily bring some for lunch for the next couple if days (or pack some up for your roommate to enjoy!)
Plus it’s filling and healthy! I could seriously talk your ear off about how much I love this salad. Yup, I’m a bottomless pit of boring conversation topics!
This time I made the salad I approached the fridge with the intention of using up the remaining veggies from last weeks farmers market trip which included brussel sprouts and some rapidly wilting asparagus. I rounded out the assortment with a red bell pepper (on sale! Score) and a can of corn for mostly color (who doesn’t like pretty food?). My local grocery store is a Kroger and they sell bags of frozen cheese tortellini for 3-4 bucks that work wonderfully, but any cheese tort will do for this! Or really any kind of tort if you wanna go for a chicken one. Cluck!
Cheese Tortellini- 2c*
Brussel Sprouts – 2.5c*
Asparagus- 1 bunch* (don’t forget to cut off the bottom root part, thats gross)
Red Bell Pepper- 1, sliced how you like
Garlic- 2 bulbs
Can o’ Corn- 1
Freshly ground Salt and Pepper (fresh is the best)
*plus or minus, if you want more veggies or tort adjust amounts to your hearts content
The best approach to this salad is to preheat the oven to 400 degrees and start chopping your veggies and peeling the garlic! I like to peel the garlic first and throw them in the roasting dish as a whole clove and toss with a little olive oil, S&P. They usually take the longest to cook so if you start them roasting while chopping the other veggies they will get much softer and more flavorful. I will write a post all about my love of garlic and how to use it another time, but while cooking this dish I did get to talk Kitty Kate through the whole peeling process! (Thanks for the assistance girl!)
For roasting the rest of the veggies I start chopping and putting in the densest ones first (brussel spouts in this case) and go from there. While bell peppers can be roasted I prefer them to be crisp and raw in this salad, but really you can do whatever floats your boat.
And when it comes to the seasonings liberal use of freshly ground S&P does the trick. When it comes to spices I swear the veggies feel super sexy with the bare minimum. Just ask the brussel spouts when you roast them! But they might be too busy poppin’ like its hot.
So once you get all the veggies roasting in the oven set the timer for 45 min and let them do what veggies do in a hot oven. ROAST! (Side thought, Comedy Central style celebrity roast with veggies as the star? I hear brussel sprouts are in the spotlight right now). Check on these guys occasionally and stir them up from time to time so everybody gets an even cook. Sometimes I add more olive oil and S&P for funzies. If they seem to not be softening up try adding a little water and cover them with foil at the very end. Even veggies like hot room full of steam- it’s relaxing!
Once you get them roasting start boiling your water and cook that tort! It’s easy. I find they are done when all the suckers float, but it’s always worth munching one or two or five just to make sure.
Go grab a BIG bowl and get ready to toss everything together! It doesn’t really matter what order but I usually start right before the veggies are done roasting and add them last. So in this case I went tort, can of corn(drained), sliced red bell pepper (raw) and roasted veggies on top. Then pour on some olive oil (think more drizzle then thunderstorm) and some more freshly ground S&P to boot. Keep in mind while salt is amaaaazing too much can be bad for your health(blah blah blah) so I like to do more pepper for flavor.
Now toss everything together, put it in your favorite bowl, and add some parm cheese on top! YUMMMMM!
I love this salad because it packs up so easy for lunch at work the next day. However, I get bored of eating the same thing too many times in a row so it’s easy to change up with the addition of a sauce (I use a bottled creamy garlic peppercorn one that is amazing with it) or possibly some avacado or fresh spinach. The salad is your oyster! (although I wouldn’t recommend adding those. Just sayin’)
Enjoy y’all! Oh, and if I digressed too much on how sexy the veggies are and didn’t properly clarify something just drop a line in the comments!