Over the summer, I became totally obsessed with this grilled summer veggie chopped salad. I made it once a week, on average. My friend Annie made a riff on it and turned it into a fajita chopped salad, and that went into my rotation as well. After the indulgences of the holidays, I've been reseting my diet, and I've majorly been craving that summer salad. Zucchini and corn aren't exactly abundant these days, and it's too cold and rainy to grill, thus a seasonally appropriate winter roasted veggie salad was born.
Obviously you could use any combo of winter veggies here. I happen to love roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower together, so I went with that. Carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onions, etc would also be lovely. Or maybe even try roasting some apples or pears! In lieu of the grilled romaine, I used a combination of chopped romaine and spinach. However, if I'd had any kale on hand, I would have used that. I think the hearty greens would work really well with the roasted veggies.
This was even easier than it's grilled counterpart, since you don't have to mess with preparing the grill. I quickly seared the chicken on the stovetop, then finished it in the oven with the veggies. I tossed it all together, along with some aged Gouda and lemon-garlic dressing. This salad totally hit the spot. The Gouda was an especially fantastic addition.
I've made it quite clear that I'm a summer-lover and a winter-hater, but this salad definitely makes the dreary weather more bearable. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Roasted Winter Vegetable Chopped Chicken Salad
- 12 oz brussels sprouts, stem-end cut off, halved, and quartered if large (about 3 cups of chopped sprouts)
- 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tsp
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
- zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 romaine heart, halved lengthwise and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 3-4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup freshly grated aged Gouda
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss the brussels sprouts and cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of this mixture, then arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet set over medium high heat. Pat the chicken dry and season both sides with salt and pepper, then cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden-brown.
Place the chicken on the baking sheet with the vegetables, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken over, stir the vegetables, and return the pan to the oven. Cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender chicken is cooked through (check after 5 minutes, and take it out if it's reached 160 degrees in the center).
Meanwhile, whisk the lemon zest and juice into the olive oil-garlic mixture. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes, then chop into large dice.
Toss the romaine and spinach with the dressing, then gently mix in the vegetables, chicken, and gouda. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed, and serve warm or at room temperature.