This roasted vegetable salad finds that sweet spot where light and healthy meets totally satisfying. Fresh summer veggies and chickpeas are roasted in the oven until tender and bursting with flavor, then topped with Halloumi for a little savory satisfaction.
Roasted Vegetable Salad is my take on a traditional Ratatouille, with, of course, my own twist. A zippy lemon and garlic Ladolemono Greek Dressing replaces the tomato stew and tangy fried halloumi cheese stands in for the classic poached egg. Enjoy as a vegetarian main dish or serve it alongside Whole Roasted Chicken or Pork Chops with Bay Leaf and Lemon.
Like Ratatouille, this vegetable salad is delicious both warm and cold, which makes it the perfect make-ahead meal! It's also, also gluten-free and very versatile! I like a combination of zucchini, tomato, bell pepper, eggplant, and chickpeas in this dish, but you can swap any vegetable for what you have on hand.
The same rule can be applied to the cheese. If you can't find halloumi, then skip the frying step and sprinkle the finished dish with fresh feta cheese. If you're vegan or avoid dairy then just skip the cheese all together. I don't know about you, but I love a recipe where I can easily adjust it to meet tastes of my friends and family.
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Roast Vegetable Salad
This vegetarian dinner recipe uses an array of fresh vegetables that are easy to find year-round. Still, I try to wait for summer and early fall, when eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes are at their most vibrant.
- Eggplant: Smaller varieties like Japanese or small globe eggplants work best. If only large eggplants are available, make sure to cut them into small 1-inch pieces. Larger pieces will take much longer to roast than the other vegetables and put you in a tough spot.
- Zucchini: Also known as summer squash or courgette, zucchini brings that sweet summer flavor.
- Tomato: Any ripe tomato cut into wedges will work well here. Or, you can substitute with halved grape or cherry tomatoes.
- Bell Pepper: Any color works well here, depending on your preference. Red bell peppers are the sweetest, followed by orange, yellow, then green.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas are a good source of vegan protein, and bring a nice texture to the salad.
- Kosher salt and black pepper: Seasoning is the difference between a good meal and a great one! Salt and pepper enhance all that delicious Mediterranean flavor.
- Extra virgin olive oil: EVOO is used in just about every step of this recipe. Use a high quality olive oil, like smooth Italian Nocellara, or Spanish Hojiblanca for a peppery kick.
- Halloumi: A semi-hard sheep’s or goat’s milk cheese that’s usually found near the mozzarella at the store. You can crumble on some feta instead. Or, leave the halloumi off to make this a vegan dinner recipe.
- Ladolemono Greek Dressing: This simple Greek dressing combines lemon, oregano, garlic, salt pepper, and olive oil.
How to Make Roast Vegetable Salad
To make this Roast Vegetable Salad, get started on the eggplant right away. Preheat your oven then slice and salt the eggplant. The rest will come together by the time the eggplant is ready.
- Get ready: Position a rack in the middle of your oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
- Prep the eggplant: Cut 1 small eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Put it in a colander and season with a big pinch of salt. Toss and set aside while you prep the remaining ingredients, about 20 minutes.
- Prep the other ingredients: Drain and rinse the chickpeas and spread on a kitchen towel to dry. Cut 1 zucchini into ½-inch half moons. Cut 1 large tomato into wedges. Cut 1 large bell pepper into ½-inch pieces, discarding the top and seeds.
- Make the Ladolemono dressing: Whisk together ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 1-2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 minced garlic clove, and ¾ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Continue whisking as you slowly drizzle in ¾ cup olive oil to emulsify. Set aside.
- Mix: Pat the eggplant with a paper towel to dry and remove the excess salt and moisture released during the salting process. Transfer the eggplant to a large mixing bowl, along with the zucchini, tomato, bell pepper, and chickpeas. Add a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat. (Don’t bother washing the bowl, we’ll use it later.)
- Roast the vegetables: Transfer the vegetables to a large sheet pan and spread them in one single layer. Roast until the vegetables are tender and charred at the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Dress the salad: Remove from the oven and return the roasted vegetables to the mixing bowl. Add ½ cup of the dressing and gently toss with a wooden spoon. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly, then taste and adjust the seasoning. If you plan to serve this salad cold, cover the bowl and refrigerate for a half hour or until you are ready to serve.
- Fry the Halloumi: When you’re ready to serve the salad, cut 4-6 ounces of halloumi into ¼-inch thick squares. In a small nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the halloumi and fry until crispy and golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side.
- Serve: Divide the salad among your serving plates and set the fried halloumi on top. Enjoy!
What is Halloumi?
Halloumi (pronounced huh-loo-me) is a semi-hard sheep’s and goat’s milk cheese from Cyprus. When it’s raw, it’s rather rubbery, plain, and not particularly enticing. It’s really nothing to write home about—until you fry it! Add some heat and halloumi completely transforms in front of your eyes.
The firm, salty cheese becomes golden brown on the outside, with a tangy, creamy center. Its texture and flavor make it a perfect vegetarian alternative to meat. Fried halloumi is totally irresistible on its own or served on top of salad. You can even make it into a delicious sweet and salty situation, like in this Easy Fried Halloumi Recipe With Warmed Honey recipe.
You can find halloumi in the cheese section of most grocery stores. It’s usually right next to the mozzarella. If halloumi isn’t your thing, replace it with crumbled feta, Fried Goat Cheese with Za’atar, or skip it entirely.
Tips For Cooking Roast Vegetable Salad
This roast vegetable salad recipe is easy and all-around foolproof. Feel free to dive right in and get started. That said, here are a few extra simple techniques and tips for preparing the ingredients:
- After you cut the eggplant, give your knife, cutting board, and hands a good wash with soap. Eggplant can leave a bitterness that may stick to your other veggies.
- Salting eggplant does a few things to the vegetable. First, the salt draws out excess moisture, which can be bitter and interfere with roasting. Next, wiping away the water will make the eggplant sweeter and more tender once it’s roasted. You can skip this step if you’re short on time. But, if you have 20 minutes to spare, it’s worth the extra effort.
- To easily cut a bell pepper, first set it on its “butt” with its stem facing up. Next, slice down from top to the bottom, avoiding the stem. This will leave you with a pepper hat (top connected to the seeds) and seedless strips. Discard the hat and seeds, and chop the strips into pieces.
- Make sure to dry the chickpeas well. Dry ingredients, from meat to vegetables to legumes, do a better job of getting nice and toasty.
- Halloumi cheese is best served hot. Crisp it just before you’re ready to serve.
What to Serve with Roasted Vegetable Salad
This Roasted Vegetable Salad has so much variety by itself. The roasted chickpeas and fried cheese are creamy, crisp, and filling, while the medley of vegetables is vibrant and flavorful. To keep the flavor party going, I dress the whole thing in a lemony garlic dressing, which gives it a sharp vibrant kick! Once it's all pulled together, you really don’t need more for a full weeknight meal!
If you’re serving a crowd and want to bring some more dishes to the gathering, start with Mediterranean appetizers. Creamy Homemade Hummus, fluffy fresh Pita Bread, and a Simple Crudités Platter are always a hit.
More Healthy And Hearty Vegetarian Recipes
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Roasted Vegetable Salad with Halloumi
- 1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 zucchini, halved and cut into ½-inch half moons
- 1 large tomato, cut into wedges
- 1 large bell pepper, any color, cored and cut into ½-inch squares or pieces
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried well
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4-6 ounces halloumi cheese (optional), cut into ¼-inch thick squares or torn into pieces
- ⅓ cup Ladolemono dressing
- Get ready: Position a rack in the middle of your oven and heat to 400°F.
- Salt the eggplant: Put the eggplant in a colander and season with a big pinch of salt. Set aside for about 20 minutes while you prep the other veggies. When ready, wipe the eggplant well with a paper towel to remove excess salt.
- Make the dressing: While your eggplant is expelling its water, prepare the Ladolemono Greek Salad Dressing. Set aside for now.
- Mix: In a large mixing bowl, toss the eggplant, zucchini, tomato, bell pepper, and chickpeas with a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat. (Don’t bother washing the bowl, we’ll use it later.)
- Roast the vegetables: Transfer to a large sheet pan and spread in one single layer.Roast in the heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and even charred in some parts.
- Dress the salad: Remove from the oven and return the roasted vegetables to the mixing bowl. Add ½ cup of the Ladoloemono dressing and gently toss. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly, then taste and adjust the seasoning. If you plan to serve this salad cold, go ahead and cover the bowl and refrigerate for a half hour or until you are ready to serve.
- Fry the halloumi: When you’re ready to serve the salad, fry the cheese. In a small nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the halloumi and fry until crispy and golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side.
- Enjoy!: Divide the salad among your serving plates and set the fried halloumi on top. Serve.
- If you don’t like halloumi, you can substitute by crumbling fresh feta over the salad just before serving.
- Use any leftover Greek dressing for salads, vegetables or even this Broiled Salmon recipe. Store in the fridge in a sealed mason jar for up to 1 week. Give the dressing a gentle shake or whisk before using.
- Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams and spices.
This is a wonderfully simple and truly delicious dish. I will make it often. Thanks.
Yay! Thanks, Lynn!