Lately I have been craving the perfect balance between a light dinner and something a little more filling. With a new baby in the house I don’t have a ton of time to spend preparing dinner, but I still want my family to have healthy food. I find my oven to be my best tool. I can roast some vegetables and most of the work is done while I am playing with the kids. This salad is a delicious combination of sweet roasted vegetables and crispy bread with a delicious shallot vinaigrette on top. It was well loved by everyone in the house. (minus the arugula for the kids)
The roasted vegetables in this salad are really up to you. The one caveat I have is the golden beets. I think that one ingredient is a deal breaker. It just has the most amazing flavor when combined with the shallot dressing. You can’t leave that part out. If you think you don’t like beets, try the golden variety before deciding for sure. They are much sweeter and less earthy. I think you will love them like I do.
Roast you chosen veg in a 400 degree oven until they are tender. I used golden beets. broccoli and cauliflower. You want them a uniform size, I did about a 1″ dice. I started with 5 cups of raw vegetables and 5 cups of cubed bread to make the salad. Roast the vegetables in olive oil until done, and set aside. Lightly salt the veggies when they come out of the oven. Roast the shallot for the dressing on the same sheet pan, off to one side so you can easily remove it.
On a large griddle, if you have it, if not a pan will do fine, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. (one if you are using a small pan and do two batches) Fry the bread on medium heat until the sides become golden. Essentially making big croutons. I find this step really helps the bread stand up to the dressing with just the right texture. Remove the bread to a large bowl and add 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese and the salt and pepper.
In a mini food processor or blender combine the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing over the bread and stir in the roasted veggies. Place on a platter with 1-2 cups of arugula.
- 5 cups cubed bread, whole grain preferred
- 5 cups raw vegetables
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ cup cubed feta cheese
- 2 cups arugula
- salt and pepper to taste
- ~roasted shallot vinaigrette~
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large shallots, cut in half through the center
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 400º
- Dice the vegetables in a uniform size.
- Toss in 2 tablespoons olive oil and roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Roast the shallot for the dressing on the same sheet.
- Cube the bread.
- Fry the bread cubes in olive oil until golden and toasted on a few sides.
- Remove to a large bowl and add parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
- Add the vegetables to the bread cubes and mix together.
- Pour the dressing over, I did not use all of it, and then mix in the feta cheese and arugula.
- Serve immediately.
- Peel the shallots and slice them through the belly. Oil the baking sheet and roll the shallots in the oil to make sure they are coated. Roast for about 10 minutes per side, until they are browned and caramelized.
- Puree the shallots in a food processor or blender. Add the vinegar, maple syrup and spices. Then feed in the olive oil.