Shoestring Meals - Roasted Caesar Salad

View Full Version : Roasted Caesar Salad

02-06-2010, 08:34 PM
This isn't at all like a salad, it's hot, roasted veggies made from salad ingredients.

I got the idea when I complained to hubby that we were out of ranch dressing powder (my usual roasted veggie seasoning. I shake veggies, oil, and ranch dressing powder and then bake at 400 - 475 depending on the water content of the veggies). Hubby said, "just use the ranch dressing we bought" (we'd bought a HUGE bottle of ranch dressing for a party we had last weekend).

It got me thinking that maybe any salad dressing would make a good roasting marinade, so I grabbed the Caesar. The lettuce I thought was probably a mistake, but the idea of "roasting a salad" was too tempting.

I threw this together to use up some raw veggies that I didn't think would last in the fridge very long in their raw state. It was a weird combination, but I figured I had nothing to lose, because the veggies were going to go bad if I didn't do something with them. Roasting is my cure-all, so I gave it a shot.

Organic Spring Mix, several cups, about 1/4 the box (3.98 Sam's Club, 1 lb box)
large handful of radishes cut in halves, about 1/2 package of radishes ($1.99 package at Walmart)
about 1/3 head of broccoli ($1.25 head at Walmart)
three mini-bell peppers, whole (I don't remember how much the package was, but the package was huge, so the cost of the peppers is minimal).

Tuscan Garden (Aldi store brand) Garlic Caesar Dressing (either .99 or 1.99 bottle, don't remember) a few tablespoons.

So alltogether there's less than $2.50 worth of ingredients in the whole dish.

In a ziploc bag, I tossed the veggies with enough caesar dressing to coat. I added a little extra garlic powder, becaused I really like garlic. Then poured the veggies into a foil-lined pan and baked at 460 degrees.

I don't know how long I baked them, because I lost track of time, but I'd guess about 30 to 50 minutes. I stirred about ever 10 to 20 minutes, and roasted until the veggies were tender and the broccoli heads were crispy.

Tasted awesome, but I'd make a few changes next time.

I'd add a lot more greens. They cook down like cooked spinach. I was afraid they'd burn, but they're so high in water they were fine. I'd use more next time, because they were so good.

Slice the radishes and use fewer of them. The radished lose all their zip. I'd heard of roasting radishes to substitute for potatoes, and I can see the similarity (but the radishes are wetter than potato, more like cooked turnip, cauliflower, or kohlrabi). I'd slice them or cut into smaller pieces because they could have been a bit more tender.

Add Onion. I'd add thinly sliced or chopped onion, maybe scallions into the mix

The broccoli I might cut into smaller pieces.

I'd add more of the mini-peppers. I didn't slice them or seed them, because there really aren't many seeds anyway. If I only had large peppers I would remove the seeds and slice them. Roasted, the peppers are very sweet.

Surprisingly good.

02-06-2010, 09:38 PM
that sounds soooooo good. Hmmmm. I have some spring mix in the fridge, maybe I'll give it a go with the other veggies I have kickin' around. As a side note, I often use low fat ranch or caesar dressing to help breadcrumbs adhere to oven "fried" chicken.

02-06-2010, 10:16 PM
Sounds sooo yummy!!

02-06-2010, 11:02 PM
It was so yummy. I ate the whole pan myself as lunch (without any protein, just the veggies). I'll suffer later because I have IBS, and that many servings of veggies can cause some tummy issues, but oh so good.

I used to say "any vegetable, but lettuce," when I gave my roasting recipe to friends. Looks like I'll have to ammend that now.

I've used the lettuce mix in soup before. The leaf lettuces in the spring mix are so much like spinach, it made sense - but I recently found some recipes that cook (boil, deep-fry, grill, stir-fry) iceberg and romain lettuce too. I just never thought of it before.

Cucumber can be cooked too (the taste and texture is much like zucchini).

03-07-2010, 08:34 AM
Kaplods, thanks for the idea! Have you tried Aldi's Grandessa brand of Garlic Vinaigrette? Super yummy. We like to marinate chicken breasts in it and grill them. The leftover chicken is heavenly on a salad. I have that Tuscan Garden dressing too. It's nice and tart.

03-08-2010, 05:59 PM
No I haven't, but now I will. I just put it on the grocery list.

03-08-2010, 06:15 PM
I have a recipe somewhere I'll have to find it, that involves grilling romaine lettuce on the bbq, for a grilled caesar salad recipe. It's delicious and a a great summer recipe. I've made it a couple of times for company and it's always a hit.