Celebrate summer with Roasted Ratatouille Salad! Loaded with the best seasonal produce—such as summer squash, zucchini, and tomatoes—this vegetable salad makes a terrific light lunch or dinner. This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Years ago, when I first heard the word “ratatouille” I thought it was some sort of weird meat dish. I knew it was French food, and the French aren’t exactly known for their vegan cuisine. When I finally discovered that it was a vegetable dish, I couldn’t get enough.
Ratatouille is a French stewed vegetable dish that originated in Nice. It’s traditionally made with tomatoes, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and garlic, along with herbs such as marjoram, basil, and thyme, or a mix of herbs like herbes de Provence.
I first started making a roasted ratatouille salad about 7 or 8 years ago after seeing a recipe on a blog called Organically Me, (or was it Organically Yours?) which is now long gone. It’s a salad I like to make in the summer, when eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash are at their peak ripeness. My recipe is based on my memory of the one I found online all those years ago.
It may seem counter intuitive to turn the oven on in the hot summer months, but it’s worth it for this dish. Roasting the vegetables does something magical, bringing out flavors you wouldn’t be able to get with any other cooking method.
A simple balsamic vinegar reduction makes a delicious dressing for this salad. To make it, you just boil the vinegar and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook it, stirring frequently until it’s reduced considerably. It should be thick and syrupy. A fruit-flavored balsamic vinegar will give your dressing a little extra flavor. I like to use cherry or blueberry flavored vinegar.
- First, chop all of your vegetables. Place them in a large bowl and toss them with oil and spices.
- Roast them for half an hour.
- While the veggies are roasting, reduce the balsamic vinegar on the stove-top.
- Serve the salad on a bed of lettuce with a drizzle of the vinegar reduction.
Roasted Ratatouille Salad makes the most of summer’s vegetable bounty. If you’d like to add a little extra oomph to it, add a cup or so of white beans or chickpeas.
Roasted Ratatouille Salad
- 1 medium-sized eggplant diced
- 1 medium-sized zucchini diced
- 1 medium-sized summer squash diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 head of butter or Bibb lettcue leaned and leaves coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, sliced
- Preheat your oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In large bowl, toss the eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, bell pepper, and tomatoes together with the olive oil, garlic, dried spices, salt, and pepper.
- Lay the veggies out flat on the baking sheet, and cook for about 30 minutes, flipping them once, or until soft and golden brown.
- While the vegetables are cooking, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil in small pot. Reduce heat to a simmer, and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. It should reduce down to about ¼ cup.
- To serve, divide the lettuce leaves among four bowls or plates. Top with the vegetables and drizzle a tablespoon or so of balsamic reduction onto each salad. Top with the sliced basil leaves.
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