Roasted Onion, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad

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Roasted Vegetable Salad I would love to start off this post by telling you how delicious the above pictured salad is.  But I just can’t.  I have something way more exciting to say!  Well exciting to me at least.  In the past few weeks I have discovered two new obsessions.  Downton Abbey and Blue Grass music!  I somewhat blame fellow bloggers for the Downton Abbey obsession – everyone is always talking about it so I just had to see what all the buzz was about.  And now I can’t stop watching it!  I’m halfway through season 2 so don’t spoil it yet!  And as for the Blue Grass music?  That just kinda came out of left field.  But now that I’ve discovered it, I can’t stop listening.  I guess living in VA is starting to have an effect on me!
white beans, cucumbers, salad, healthy salad recipe, salad recipes

Ok, so enough of British drama and banjo strumming…onto the salad.  This salad is one of Dario’s all time favorites!  And mine too.  We first discovered a similar salad in a small pizzeria near us and now every time we go there, we just have to order it.  After enough hints from Dario, I decided to make my own version at home.  And it’s delicious!  I know a lot of people don’t associate the word “delicious” with salads.  But I’m telling you….its delicious!

It starts with slow roasted plum tomatoes and red onions.  This step is key because, in my opinion, these roasted veggies are 75% of the reason this salad rocks.  Then I top it with white beans, sliced cucumbers, avocado and my all time favorite cheese…goat cheese!  For the base of the salad, I use spinach.  You could use whatever salad greens you have on hand.  But I really like the spinach because it’s just crunchy enough but not too crunchy and has a very mild flavor.  The dressing is a simple lemon vinaigrette.  I like the acidity because the roasted vegetables get all sweet and caramelized in the oven. So the lemon brightens up the whole thing!
RoastedVegSalad3

If you make this salad, get a little bit of each thing in one bite… it’s an explosion of flavor!  Sweet tomatoes, bright dressing, creamy and tangy goat cheese!  I’m drooling just thinking about it!  I guess I should share the recipe… here it is:

Roasted Onion and Tomato Spinach Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 3 plum tomatoes, slice in half lengthwise
  • 2 small red onions, or 1 large sliced into 6-8 wedges (stem on)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 16 oz bag of fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 can Great Northern beans
  • 1/2 cup sliced English cucumber
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. On a sheet pan coated with cooking spray or a silpat, place slice tomatoes cut side down and red onion wedges.  Coat with olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt and pepper.  Toss to coat evenly.
  3. Roast vegetables until golden brown on all sides – about 40-45 minutes.  Flip about 20 minutes into the roasting time.
  4. While vegetables roast, pour out spinach into a large salad bowl.  Add in most of the beans and cucumbers.  Save a small handful for garnishing the plates at the end (optional).
  5. Toss spinach with salad dressing and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Divide evenly onto 2-3 plates (depending on how big you like your salads).
  6. Top each salad evenly with goat cheese crumbles, avocado slices and remaining white beans and cucumbers.
  7. Once roasted vegetables are done, allow to cool for about 10 minutes.   Then divide evenly between salads.  Serve immediately.

Roasted Vegetable Salad
You tell me!  What are your favorite salads?  Do you have any favorite salad toppers?  How about adding grains to your salad, anyone try that yet?

4 Comments

  1. Dario

    March 4, 2013 at 8:41 am

    The images are gorgeous. Got hungry just by taking a glance at this post!

  2. Kare @ Kitchen Treaty

    March 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Ha, I love how your two new obsessions are polar opposites. 🙂 Downton Abbey is addicting, isn’t it?! We just got into it a couple of months ago ourselves. We watched at least one episode per night until we were all caught up. So good.

    And speaking of so good – this salad! It looks amaaaazing. I love slow-roasted tomatoes. Something about doing that to tomatoes just brings out all their amazing flavor. Love the idea of adding them to salad – especially with all those other ingredients! Mouth, watering.

    • mewinebrenner

      March 5, 2013 at 6:13 am

      I’m almost done season 3 – kinda sad its almost over, but really excited!! I need to find out when the new season starts!

  3. Jill

    March 10, 2013 at 5:16 am

    This looks so yummy! Love goats cheese and with the roasted vegetables and avocado it sounds perfect. Great photos too 🙂

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