Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad
Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad is brought to you by a core survival skill: fake it ‘til you make it.
- At a fancy dinner and not sure which fork to choose? Let the woman next to you make the first move, follow her lead, then casually chat her up about table linens. Fake it ‘til you make it.
- Zoned out at a work meeting and have no idea what your boss just asked you? Drop the word “synergy,” then bask in approval. Fake it ‘til you make it.
- In the mood to sip wine on a Greek balcony but trapped in a cubicle? Take a big bite of Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad, then be swept away to a land of blue seas, romantic sunsets, and vibrant flavors. Nothing to fake here—this simple, healthy meal is a cruise through the Aegean and a breeze to prepare!
Loaded with spring asparagus, optimistic summer eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash, and creamy hunks of feta cheese, Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad is mini Greek vacation in a bowl. Forget the security line and 10-hour flight—with Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad, you are 30 minutes away from paradise.
My favorite dishes are those that, like Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad, celebrate and enhance the natural qualities of the ingredients themselves. Lightly roasting the veggies gives them a bit of caramelization and concentrates their flavors. The dressing is a simple but satisfying mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, and oregano that binds and brightens. Chickpeas add heartiness, fresh parsley brings the salad to life, and hunks of feta provides just enough saltiness to allow the other flavors to shine.
I originally served Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad tucked inside warm pita bread for dinner, and I think it would be equally delightful over prepared couscous or quinoa. The leftovers I mixed with spinach and brought to work for lunch. Hello mid-day Mediterranean vacation! As much as I enjoyed the fresh salad with pita at dinner, it tasted even better the next day once the flavors had a chance to marry in the fridge. (Chickpea Tuna Salad, Moroccan Chickpea Salad, and Mediterranean Chickpea Salad are three other delicious recipes that also can be made ahead and kept in the fridge!)
My greatest proof that this healthy salad is absolutely delectable and completely satisfying? Ben’s verdict. A man who never says no to meat, after finishing this vegetarian meal, he looked at me very seriously and said, “You can make this any time.” Victory!
Appropriately named, Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad is also an excellent example of the Mediterranean diet. Loaded with fresh veggies, lean protein, and healthy fats + omega-3s from STAR Fine Foods Extra Virgin Olive Oil, this wholesome dish is good for your body as well as your taste buds. (You can read more about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet here.)
This summer, Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad will be my go-to for picnics and potlucks. Though the ingredients and preparation are easy-peasy, the flavor is complex. My fellow guests may marvel at my culinary prowess, but the fact that Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad is ready in three steps and 30 minutes can stay our little secret. Fake ‘til you make it!
Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 1/2 pound asparagus
- 1/2 cup STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil, — divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, — divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, — divided
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar — plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic — (about 3 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 can chickpeas — (16 ounces) rinsed and drained
- 3.5 ounces crumbled feta cheese — (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Whole wheat pita bread, — prepared quinoa, or prepared couscous for serving
- Place rack in upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the eggplant, zucchini, and into 1/2-inch thick cubes. Remove tough ends from the asparagus and slice into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Spread the sliced vegetables onto two baking sheets in a single layer. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil, then season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Place in oven and roast until crisp-tender, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans’ position once halfway though. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl or large measuring cup whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, and Dijon. While the vegetables are still warm, transfer them to a large serving bowl and add the chickpeas. Pour the dressing over the top and toss gently to coat. Gently stir in the feta and parsley. Serve with pita, quinoa, or couscous.
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I created this recipe for STAR Fine Foods, but as always, all opinions are my own.
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