As summer approaches with its’ long hot days and weekend gatherings, this roasted vegetable and bocconcini salad will certainly be a hit at bbqs and birthdays.
This is a versatile dish. You can exchange the vegetables for your personal favourites, what you’ve got on hand or what comes in your weekly vegetable CSA. I know I’ll be changing up the recipe as the season moves from early kale to summer squash and tomatoes.
The inspiration came from a friend’s dinner party that was catered by a private chef. I went back for seconds of this salad, snapped a picture and put it on my to-try list for home. Then a few weeks later I put it together while we visited friends in California. The availability of fresh produce was a perfect sign for me to put this salad on the menu, and it was a big hit at dinner.
- 2 zucchini
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 orange bell peppers
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 5 oz box baby kale
- 1 5 oz box arugula
- 4 tbsp balsamic reduction
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lemons
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 200g container mini bocconcini
- Preheat oven to 400F. Get to work washing and prepping the veggies. Chop the coarse ends off the asparagus. Slice the orange pepper into 1 inch thick slices. Slice the zucchini into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Halve the lemons.
- Toss the zucchini, peppers and whole cherry tomatoes into a bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil. Toss to lightly coat. You don't want too much olive oil or your veggies will get soggy pretty quickly. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the open side of each lemon. Spread the veggies out onto a baking platter, add the lemons in each corner, and top with fresh ground pepper and rock salt and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. (If you will be bbqing meat or veggies, put the lemons cut side down on the bbq for 10-12 minutes) This gives them a nice charred look.
- When the veggies in the oven are almost finished, heat another 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet on the stove top. Cook the asparagus, gently tossing them in the pan for 5-7 minutes or until they are slightly crispy on the ends and bright green.
- Set the roasted vegetables aside to cool slightly.
- Right before you are ready to eat, assemble the rest of your salad. If you dress the greens too early, your salad will be soggy. When the time is right, toss your baby kale and arugula in the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil. Drizzle about 2 tbsp of balsamic reduction over the greens and add your well-drained bocconcini to the salad. Toss.
- Top the tossed greens with the roasted asparagus, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and lemons. Drizzle the remaining balsamic reduction over the salad and add salt and/or pepper as you like. Serve and enjoy!