This Summer Roasted Vegetable Salad is taken up a notch with a smoky kick from Muhuammara, further enhanced with some creamy smoked cheddar. The perfect main-meal salad or side dish for an extra special summer feast!
These summer vegetables are roasted to perfection, giving you a golden-brown, delicious feast. We've then added a colourful mix of tomatoes and parsley and topped it all off with a smoky Muhammara dressing and some smoked cheddar for an extra kick of smokiness.
This roasted summer vegetable salad is an unforgettable main meal salad that will have your taste buds singing!
So What is Muhammara?
Muhammara is a Middle Eastern roasted red pepper and walnut dip originally from Aleppo, Syria (also known for its chillies).
You can try our recipe for Muhammara, or you should be able to find it at a Middle Eastern speciality store or simply substitute it with Ajvar, a Serbian red pepper paste found in the Ethnic food section of most supermarkets.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Baby/Chinese/long eggplants/aubergine – we have used the long thin eggplants so that we can cut them into rounds, but feel free to use the globe eggplants and cut them into big chunks.
- Dark green zucchini/courgette – I find that the dark green “black beauty” variety of zucchini holds up better for roasting, but use what zucchini you have.
- Patty pan squash/button/scallop squash – for a pop of sunny colour, you may use yellow squash here instead or just use a light-coloured zucchini.
- Red Capsicum/bell pepper – I just love the sweetness of the red pepper in this salad. You can swap for a yellow or an orange if you prefer but not a green as they have a sharp taste to them.
- Spices – we have roasted the vegetables with some cumin powder to add some depth and earthiness; you can swap for some coriander powder or some fennel seeds if you prefer. You could also add some smoked paprika to enhance the smokiness of this salad further.
- Golden grape tomatoes – added for sweetness and their golden colour, use any small tomato variety you can find. Swap the golden for red if you are using a yellow/orange pepper for roasting.
- Smoked cheddar – for some smoky flavour, swap for feta (sensational!), goat cheese, or halloumi are all great alternatives.
- Parsley leaves – I find that parsley adds some bright, fresh flavour to this salad, and it holds up really well. Swap for another green, such as rocket/arugula, or with a quarter of a cup of a sturdy herb, such as rosemary, tarragon or thyme. If you are going to use a soft herb such as basil or mint, then I suggest adding them at the last minute, as the hot veggies will turn them brown.
- Dressing – we have used a combination of Muhammara and lemon juice for the dressing. Muhammara can be found in the international section of your supermarket or can be replaced with Ajvar, a Serbian red pepper paste. Alternatively, you can use a simple lemon garlic vinaigrette, or our basil balsamic would also be great here.
While we have used summer veggies for this salad, you can swap them for whatever vegetables are in season or whatever veggies are lurking in your veggie bin that you want to use up:
- Winter Roasted Vegetable Salad – try beets, carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and pumpkin.
- Autumn/Fall Roasted Vegetable Salad – try butternut squash, brussels sprouts, baby potatoes, eschallots/French shallots.
- Spring Roasted Vegetable Salad – try asparagus, radishes, Dutch/baby carrots, zucchini, and fingerling/kipfler potatoes.
- Brassica Roasted Salad – try cauliflower, broccoli, Romanesco, and red onion.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless with this salad.
How to Make It
Step 1 - Prepare the Veggies
Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Line one or two large baking trays with baking paper.
Wash the eggplants, remove the tops and ends and then cut them into thick rounds. I like to salt my eggplants before cooking as this removes the excess water and reduces the eggplants' ability to absorb oil.
To do this, place the eggplants, one layer at a time, in a colander and sprinkle with some coarse salt. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes (you should see water beads forming), then pat dry with a towel to remove the excess water and salt. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Step-by-step instructions are in our eggplant post.
Wash the zucchini and trim the zucchini, then cut into rounds, add to your bowl.
Wash and trim the pattypan squash, and any damaged parts. Cut the pattypan squash into quarters and add to your bowl.
Wash the red capsicum, remove the core and seeds, and then cut into large dice. Add to your bowl.
Step 2 - Roast the Veggies
Drizzle some oll in the bowl with all your preppared vegetables add some cumin powder, and season with salt and pepper.
Toss until they are all well coated with the oil and cumin.
Arrange the vegetables on 1 or 2 baking trays, spread them out evenly and do not overcrowd them (we want them to roast and not stew).
Place in the middle rack of your oven and cook until golden brown (approximately 20-30 minutes). Turning them halfway through the cooking process.
Remove and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Step 3 - Prepare the Remaining Ingredients
While your veggies are roasting, wash your parsley leaves, shake to remove excess water, pat dry and chop roughly.
Wash the golden grape tomatoes, then cut them in half, and add to your bowl along with the chopped parsley and grated smoked cheese.
Step 4 - Assemble Your Salad
Place all the roasted vegetables in a large mixing bowl, add the Muhammara and lemon juice to the vegetables while they are still hot.
Season with some sea salt and cracked black pepper and toss until well combined.
Add the grated cheese, chopped parsley and tomatoes.
Give everything another mix through until everything is well combined.
Arrange in a salad bowl, then serve and enjoy!
This salad is a meal in itself, thanks to the hearty roasted veggies, the Muhammara, and the smoky cheddar; all you need is some fresh bread, and a glass of wine and dinner is sorted!
It travels well, so it is also great for buffets, barbecues, potlucks, and picnics.
Want to give it an extra protein boost? Add grilled chicken, flaked salmon or cooked chickpeas, lentils, or quinoa.
Tips and Questions
Can It Be Made Ahead?
You can prepare all the vegetables the day before and keep them in separate containers in the fridge to roast on the day. Grate the cheese and shake up the dressing. Make sure you pat the vegetables dry before roasting and that you bring the cheese and dressing to room temperature.
If you are serving this salad cold, then you may also roast the vegetables the day before, bring them to room temperature and assemble the salad just before serving.
Is Summer Roasted Vegetable Salad Best Served Hot or Cold?
This salad can be enjoyed either hot or cold; it is up to you how you prefer it!
How Do I Store the Leftovers?
- Pop any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, and they will be good for 2-3 days.
- The leftovers make a great filling for a wrap, or I like to add some feta and make it into a frittata.
- This salad has low calories, with only 152 calories per serving, and is keto, nut-free, and vegetarian-friendly; each serve contains 11 grams of net carbs.
- To make it vegan, paleo, and whole30 compliant, you can either leave out the cheese or swap it for one that is suitable.
- (Please note we use a nutritional database to calculate the nutritional information, and should be considered as an estimate).
- 500 grams baby eggplants (aubergine) 4 long approximately 17.64 ounces
- 200 grams large dark green zucchini (courgette) 1 medium, approximately 7.05 ounces
- 200 grams patty pan squash (summer squash) 4-5 squash, approximately 7.05 ounces
- 120 grams red capsicum (bell pepper) 1 medium, approximately 4.2 ounces
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 250 grams golden grape tomatoes
- ⅓ cup smoked cheddar, shredded
- ½ cup parsley leaves
- 4 tablespoons Muhammara*
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Line one or two large baking trays with baking paper.
- Wash the eggplants, remove the tops and ends and then cut them into thick rounds. I like to salt my eggplants before cooking as this removes the excess water and reduces the eggplants ability to absorb oil. Place the eggplants, one layer at a time, in a colander and sprinkle with some coarse salt. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes (you should see water beads forming) then a pat dry with a towel to remove the excess water and salt. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Wash the zucchini and patty pan squash, remove the tops, ends and any damaged parts. Add to your bowl.
- Cut the zucchini into rounds and the patty pan squash into quarters. Add to your bowl.
- Wash the red capsicum remove the core and seeds, then cut into a large dice. Add to your bowl.
- Drizzle all your vegetables with some olive oil and the cumin powder, season with salt and pepper. Toss until they are all well coated with the oil and cumin, arrange the vegetables on 1 or 2 baking trays, spread out evenly and do not overcrowd (we want them to roast and not stew).
- Place in the middle rack of your oven and cook until golden brown (approximately 20-30 minutes). Remove and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Wash your parsley leaves, shake to remove excess water, pat dry and chop roughly.
- Wash the golden grape tomatoes then cut in half, add to your bowl along with the chopped parsley and smoked cheese.
- Add the Muhammara and lemon juice to the vegetables and toss until well combined.
- Arrange in a salad bowl and serve .