When it comes to comfort food, Salad is usually not at the top of my list. To me, comfort food is usually something warm and substantial, like your favorite cozy blanket. When I've eaten a salad, I usually feel like I haven't eaten anything afterwards and it leaves me wanting more. This salad, however, is different. I find myself craving it. I think it has something to do with all of the roasted veggies - there are over 7 in this salad and you can always add more if you like (think eggplant, butternut squash or red potatoes)! The pasta also helps to make the salad feel like it has body.
Add a protein on top (so far I've served it topped with salmon and steak, chicken will be next!) and you've got a complete meal.
I know all of the prep work sounds like a lot, but don't let all of the roasting dissuade you from trying this recipe. Plan ahead and roast the veggies the morning of or the night before! Make the dressing and your protein (if adding) ahead. Then all you need to do is make your pasta, toss and serve!
Roasted Veggie Salad with Israeli Couscous & Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
Serves 6 as an entree or 10 as a side dish
1 package Roasted Garlic Israeli Couscous (aka Pearl Pasta)
1 package mini sweet peppers (usually 3 colors in the package - red, orange and yellow) - I use 14 of the peppers for this recipe. Remove the stem, ribs and seeds, then cut the small peppers in half and cut any large peppers in quarters
3 large carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 1/2" thick slices
2 medium size zucchini cut into 1/2" disks, then halved
1 package of white button mushrooms, halved
1 large red onion cut into chunks
1/2 bunch of asparagus cut on the diagonal into 1" pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes , halved
1/2 package fresh baby spinach
1 package spring mix greens or field greens
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon honey (for roasting the carrots)
6 T good quality extra virgin olive oil
6 T fresh lemon juice
Zest from 1 large lemon
6 small garlic cloves finely minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped chives
kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
Protein of your choice cooked as desired. So far, I've served this salad topped with grilled salmon and chimichurri steak. Here's the link to the steak recipe -
Make the dressing -
Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small mason jar and shake well to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
** The dressing recipe makes more than you'll need for the salad. It's a great all-purpose dressing so save the remainder for another use!
Roast the veggies:
Preheat oven to 450F
Line rimmed baking sheets with foil. You'll need about 3-4 baking sheets. If you don't have this many, just roast the veggies in batches. Make sure you like the baking sheets with foil for easy clean-up in between roasting.
1. Place the carrots on one of the foil lined baking sheets. Drizzle with the honey, season with salt & pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until just tender and beginning to caramelize.
2. Place the peppers and onions together on one of the foil lined baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast for approx 15-20 minutes or until the peppers and onions are lightly charred. You definitely want char on these veggies for more flavor.
3. Place the zucchini and mushrooms together on one of the foil lined baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast for approx 10 minutes or until tender (but not too mushy).
4. Place asparagus on one of the foil lined baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast for approx 5 minutes.
5. Place the halved tomatoes on one of the foil lined baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast for approx 3 minutes or just until the tomato skins burst.
Place all of the roasted veggies in a large bowl or platter. Drain any juices that may have accumulated during roasting.
When you are done roasting the veggies, cook the Israeli Couscous according to the package directions. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before assembling the salad.
Assemble the salad -
1. Place the slightly warm Israeli Couscous in a large bowl. Add the spinach and toss. This will help to wilt the spinach a bit.
2. Add half of the dressing and all of the roasted veggies. Toss gently to combine.
To serve the salad -
1. Use a very large platter (preferably with a rim). If you don't have a platter large enough to fit all of the salad, serve the majority of the salad on the platter then replenish as needed.
2. Place the spring mix or field greens on the platter. Carefully arrange the roasted veggie mixture on top of the greens.
3. Top with your protein of choice and serve.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge until the next day. Add additional spring mix or field greens before serving (and top with more dressing if needed).
Here's a photo of the Israeli Couscous I used. Feel free to use your favorite.