This is more of of a summer salad because it has been 80°F in the ‘Bama land for the past few weeks. I know you are probably going “Hmm, summer and roasted veggies? You must be crazy.” But I’ve always loved roasting anything I could get my hands on. The market was full of fresh asparagus and eggplants last week and I couldn’t help but buy some because they are what we call free food in a low-carb diet. Which means apart from the 30-45 gms of proteins I get to eat every big meal, I can eat these as much as I want to and I consider this a huge asset because now, I can go crazy with creativity and caramelize my veggies in the oven.
So this salad, it has balsamic-roasted eggplants, asparagus, onion and garlic in it along with fresh lettuce and tomato. I seasoned it with dry basil flakes (wishing I had planted basil this year too. Oh well, it is never too late to!) and fresh mint for that extra herb-y kick. I finished it with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Although I would suggest serving this with a dinner roll (for the carb part of the plan), I ate it all by itself and fell deeply in love with the wonderful sweet-spicy flavor from the balsamic and Sriracha.
Roasted Spring Veggies Salad with Blasamic Vinegar
Half a large eggplant
One huge purple onion (I used yellow because I didn’t have purple in my pantry)
Ten spears of asparagus
Four garlic pods
Two cups lettuce
Two Roma tomatoes, diced
One and a half tsp Sriracha or one tsp chili flakes
Three Tbsp balsamic + more for finishing
Few chiffonaded leaves of fresh basil (I used 1 1/2 tsp of dry flakes)
Few fresh mint leaves
Cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)
Three Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Dice the asparagus and onion into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, mix one Tbsp of olive oil with little salt, little pepper, one tsp Sriracha, One Tbsp balsamic vinegar and half the basil. Toss the cute vegetables along with the garlic and spread it on a aluminum foil-covered baking sheet. Roast it in the oven for twenty minutes. Meanwhile, cut the eggplant into bite-size pieces too. In the same bowl, mix together another Tbsp of olive oil with salt, pepper, rest of the Sriracha, one more Tbsp of balsamic vinegar and the rest of the basil. Toss the eggplant and roast it in a pan until caramelized and crunchy. You could also save time and roast it all together but I have let the fire alarm go off many-a-times while roasting eggplants. Hence, didn’t want to take a chance again.
In the bowl, make a vinaigrette out of the remaining oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss the lettuce and diced tomatoes. When the vegetables are done roasting, mix them together and sprinkle the cheese and mint leaves over the hot mixture.
To serve: make a bed of lettuce and tomatoes. Serve the roasted vegetables over it with another sprinkle of cheese, cilantro and finish it off with a splash of balsamic.
Carbs: 7.5 gms
Carbs with a dinner roll: 22.5 gms
(That is 7.5 gms less than the minimum allowed limit for a meal and the maximum allowed limit for a snack. Hah!)