Roasted Harvest Salad

by Chef

The ingredients in this salad make this recipe the quintessential Southern salad. Most of these vegetables are grown here in Northwest Florida and can be found at roadside stands from Alabama to Central Florida. Our very own Palafox Farmers Market, open on Saturdays downtown, also has a many of these just-picked local vegetables. Including the edible flowers. It's always a pleasure to get to know and support our local farmers and specialty growers. I had the pleasure of preparing this recipe in the studio for WSRE-TV "Flavors of The Coast" and it was a huge hit! The filming crew devoured this stunning salad in mere seconds after filming. For maximum flavor, it should be made and served warm or at room temperature just before presenting. For relaxed entertaining, prepare the salad in advance and keep chilled in your refrigerator. The flavors, colors and textures are both brilliant and crisp. If you want to serve it as an accompaniment, skip the lettuce completely and serve it alongside grilled aged beef or fresh-grilled Gulf seafood.

Serves: 6-8


  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 head kale
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 4 new potatoes
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 turnip roots
  • 2 beets
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 leek
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 4 edible flowers
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup balsamic vinaigrette

Kosher salt to taste
Fresh-cracked pepper to taste


 Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel sweet potatoes, new potatoes, carrots, turnips and beets, then cut into 1-inch lengths. Rinse potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Rinse zucchini, squash, onion, bell pepper and fennel and cut them the same size as the other vegetables. Place beets in a separate bowl to avoid bleeding the red color onto the other vegetables. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, and then rinse in ice water to remove any sand or soil. Cook asparagus tips in boiling water for 3 minutes, then place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

Place all cut vegetables except beets on the same sheet tray. Toss vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss beets separately and place onto separate pan. Caramelize vegetables by roasting them all in oven at high heat. Use a spatula to turn vegetables once or twice while they are roasting. Cook in oven until tender (35-40 minutes). Remove beets and save for topping on the salad.

Place remaining cooled vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add cooked asparagus tips and toss with ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette and chopped basil. Clean and chop the romaine and kale leaves and place on a platter or on individual dishes. Arrange vegetable salad on romaine and kale. Top with fresh herb sprigs, chopped pecans and edible flowers.