There are a few steps to making this salad, but it comes together quickly. Speed it up by making the dressing while the vegetables are roasting. Layer the ingredients in a large bowl, and toss just before serving to keep it looking fresh and colorful. During summer, you can put the vegetables on the grill instead of roasting them, adding a wonderfully smoky flavor.
You could easily make this a vegan recipe. Simply leave out the feta cheese, or replace with a vegan cheese. And use agave nectar instead of honey in the dressing. Those two tiny changes are all you need to do to have a vegan meal.
This recipe is adapted from "The Fresh & Green Table" by Susie Middleton.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients for salad
- Extra virgin olive oil (have at least 1/4 cup ready)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 medium ears of fresh corn, shucked and kernels sliced from the cob
- 1 red onion, sliced in rings
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced on an angle
- 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, halved and sliced in rings
- 10-15 spears of asparagus
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 ripe avocados, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (omit for vegan version)
- 1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon honey (or agave nectar for vegan version)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Roasting the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, toss the zucchini, red onion, bell pepper, and asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil (1-2 tablespoons) and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment and arrange the vegetables in a single layer. You will need more than one baking sheet or do this in stages since you will have more vegetables than will fit in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for about 10-15 minutes, turn them over, and roast another 10-15 minutes until browned but still colorful.
- Meanwhile, roast the corn on the stovetop. Heat a large nonstick skillet (preferably cast iron) on high heat. Add the corn kernels and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes without turning. Let them get thoroughly browned, then stir and cook another 3-4 minutes. Don't stir too much or you won't get that roasted effect.
- Making the dressing: In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients including a large pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until combined, or put them all into a mason jar, tighten the lid and give it a solid shaking.
- Add a couple tablespoons of the dressing to the black beans and set aside to soak.
- To prepare the salad, first layer lettuce, then roasted peppers, corn, onions, zucchini and asparagus in a large bowl. Layer over these the avocado, beans, feta cheese and toasted slivered almonds. Wait to toss until just before serving.
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