Easy Roasted Vegetable Salad

We were heading over to some friends house to watch the  season finale of the Bachelorette...don't judge, and needed to bring a salad along. I had a pile of garden fresh, unofficially organic vegetables from my dad's garden and I used almost all of them for this salad. In the garden are yellow zucchini, yellow squash, beets, tomatoes and regular zucchini. I also had some yellow tomatoes from the previous weekend's farmer's market.

The yellow zucchini are really large and the outside skin is hard so I always cut this off.Cut off the ends of the squash so you can stand it on end, then slice along the skin with a knife down the sides and discard.

Next I usually cut it into half. The upper half, or neck doesn't have seeds but the lower portion does. Half each half and then scoop out the seeds. Next you can easily continue to half the pieces until you have even long slices. Turn them horizontally next to each other and cut into cubes.

Repeat this with the other squash and zucchini. With the green zucchini, you can leave the skin on though. Preheat the oven to 400. I put mine on the "Convection Roast" setting. Once everything is diced, spritz with olive oil, salt and pepper and make sure everything is seasoned. Place on a large baking sheet or roasting pan and place into hot oven.

For the beets: after thoroughly washing, trim off the majority of the stems. The beet greens are still great to eat. You can discard most of the red/pink stems and then chop up the greens and save for later. These can be used just like other dark greens: sautéed alone, with other veggies, in a soup, etc. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and place in oven on a baking sheet. You should be able to poke a fork easily through them when they are ready.Once the beets are ready, slice off one end and then peel the rest of the skin off. It should be removed easily once cooked.

Watch the other vegetables until they are softened and browned, it usually takes 45 minutes or more. If you cut the vegetables up smaller it takes less time. In this salad I left most everything in thin strips. Meanwhile, roast slices of red and yellow tomatoes (with salt and pepper). I do these last since they will cook the fastest.

Remove from oven and let cool. Combine in a large white bowl to show off the great colors and add fresh cracked pepper and salt if needed. I also had fresh basil from my sister's garden so I rolled up the leaves and chiffonaded the basil into ribbons.

Simple and easy and full of nutrients. Summer squash and zucchini both have about 20 calories per 1 cup serving. They are great sources of vitamin C, folate, and dietary fiber. Beets have about 40 calories per 1/2 cup of serving. They are good sources of many of the same nutrients: excellent source of folate and manganese. Manganese can actually help your body absorb other vitamins such as vitamin C, thiamin, choline and biotin (good for skin, hair and nails!) I take biotin myself, but if you have healthy hair - or don't color yours, you might not need to!

I love roasted vegetables salads because they can be served hot, cool or at room temperature. Add fresh cracked pepper before serving and more basil if you store any leftovers!