Preparation time:15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4, as a side dish
Roasting is a great way to prepare vegetables. The dry heat that occurs in roasting caramelizes all the vegetables’ natural sugars, leaving you with soft, sweet veggies whose flavors are concentrated as much as they are mellowed. This salad is best served at room temperature, although it can also be enjoyed cold. It goes nicely with grilled or roasted meats as well as fried fish. You can also increase the amount of chickpeas here and have this as a vegetarian entrée.
- 2 red peppers
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 Asian eggplant, about 200-230 grams, sliced on the diagonal
- 1 zucchini, about 200-230 grams, sliced on the diagonal
- 1 large white onion, peeled and sliced thickly
- 1/2 cup cooked and drained chickpeas
- 100 grams feta cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, very roughly chopped
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil, for brushing
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 small clove of garlic, finely minced
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
For the dressing
- Turn on the broiler or preheat the oven to 200C. The broiler works faster so it’s good to use that for the peppers. Quarter the peppers and remove the stems and all the seeds. Lay the pepper quarters skin side up on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven until the skins are blackened and blistered in places. Immediately place the peppers in a bowl and cover with cling wrap. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, gently peel off the skin. Slice each quarter in half and set aside.
- Turn off the broiler, if using, and preheat the oven to 200C. Lay the zucchini, eggplant, and onion slices on another lined baking sheet. Brush with some of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the vegetables in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until soft. Take the baking sheet out, brush vegetables with oil, flip over, brush with oil again, and return to the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until completely soft. If any of the slices are done before the rest, simply remove them ahead.
- While the vegetables are roasting, make the dressing. In a large bowl (where you will place all the roasted vegetables later) vigorously whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- When all the vegetables are done, place them, along with the peppers, in the bowl with the dressing. Add the chickpeas, feta cheese, and basil and toss gently until everything is combined. Taste to see if it needs more salt, vinegar, or oil, and adjust.