Perfect for using up veggies, or for a make ahead dish that is delicious as both a side or a main. A lovely depth of flavour from the roasted veg, this bowl is full of colour and looks so pretty and summery. This would make a fabulous take along dish to a barbecue - looking amazing with very little effort.... my sort of cooking!
Prep 10 mins Cook 30 mins Oven 180C
Ingredients and Method
Your roasting veggies of choice - feel free to vary. Frozen veg will be just fine - a bag of frozen Mediterranean mix works particularly well in this salad. Sometimes I use a mix of fresh and frozen - always comes out fine - may take slightly longer to cook. If adding frozen peas or sweetcorn, use a small bowl and pour some boiling water over... let sit until required. I usually chuck some mange-tout and cherry tomatoes into my salad but haven't got any left this week.
Today I used all fresh veggies, emptying the crisper drawer of my fridge. Had I opened the freezer I may have been tempted to climb inside. My veg today are;
Corn cobs, red onion, chestnut mushrooms, eggplant, broccoli, sprouts and sweet peppers.
Peel if necessary and pop into a lightly oiled baking tin after chopping into chunks, halving quartering - whatever floats your boat. I've hidden the sprouts and broccoli under the onions and eggplant to stop it burning.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil... my absolute favourite is lemon infused but I can't always find it in the supermarket. If you haven't tried it, buy it if you see it - it's worth every penny... it's my go to salad drizzler. Then scatter with ze 'erbs.... today I've used sea salt, garlic granules, pepper, thyme and rosemary. I went out to pick some basil but some little critter has taken a shine to it and left me with stalks.
Bung into oven on middle shelf to roast for about 30 mins. Sit back and savour the wonderful smell wafting from the kitchen. I roasted in my Ninja Health Grill at 160 for 25 mins, it took 3 mins to get to roasting temp... I find it so much quicker than waiting for the oven to heat.
I'm using leftover basmati rice I cooked yesterday and popped in the fridge overnight . This salad also works really well using a 2 min micro pack - either plain, or a lime or lemon flavour works so well, even the coconut variety is a winner. If you are using a micro packet you do need to cook it first!
My basmati today is plain. I cooked a big batch yesterday on the stove top in my large cast iron Le Creuset casserole. Effortless, fluffy and no faff whatsoever. No need to rinse the rice, this ratio works.... 1 cup rice, to 1.5 water with a tight fitting lid on your pan. Measure into pan using cold water and bring to a simmer uncovered on high. As soon as bubbling, slam on tight lid and reduce heat to minimum for 12 mins. As I know my pot retains heat, I turned off the gas after 10 mins and left it. Not a bit was stuck to the bottom, fluffing up beautifully with a quick stir.
Once roasted, allow to cool and then it's a quick throw together in a large bowl. I added a tin of salad beans (rinsed and drained well), a scatter of cashews, some black olives..... also ripping up some mint leaves from the garden into the bowl.
If using freshly cooked rice, you can combine everything whilst still warm.
I've quickly chopped the veg a little more where necessary and cut off the corn from the cob. I'm not precious, it's still chunks - I just say "It's rustic dahling" - I've been doing it for years and got no complaints.... it saves so much time!
Taste as you go.... today I've added another slug of the lemon oil, a hefty dash of lemon and lime juice, a teaspoon of sugar (I've run out of agave syrup), and a generous squeeze of vegan salad cream. On tasting, it needed more salt and garlic .... that darn eggplant! I also added a smatter of dried onion powder, I think it's added a certain little something that was lacking before.
And now, all covered and nicely nestled away in the fridge for supper tonight. It's so tasty, I'm rather impressed with my willpower as I could have dived right in with a big spoon. Just stir well again before serving.
I have only ever served this salad cold, as I have great reservations about reheating previously cooked rice. I know people do reheat cooked rice, but I never have. It was drummed into me not to on a food safety course years ago.
I do think though that this would be delicious as a hot side, perhaps thrown together as soon as the rice has cooked.