I know a lot of women complain that their husbands refuse to eat soup or salad as a meal, but I’m lucky that mine does not mind in the least (of course, if he did, uhh too bad, since I’m doing the cooking). He regularly asks for fattoush
and would be fine eating a Greek salad with chicken every week. I like salad a lot, too, but when fall and winter come around, they just don’t come to my mind as much, I guess. I always want hot foods, comfort meals, stews.
Enter this salad that my friend Josie recently posted. It’s a riff on her favorite summer salad, and it’s great. You take your favorite winter vegetables and roast them alongside lean chicken, then toss everything with some salad greens, cheese, and a lemony dressing. You get to have your wintery foods (my entire family thinks roasted vegetables are the bee’s knees) but stay healthy and not eat something that feels so heavy.
You can change this salad any way you’d like, really. Josie used brussels sprouts and cauliflower but we all know about my extreme dislike for cauliflower, so that wasn’t going to happen. Instead I opted for brussels sprouts, acorn squash, and mushrooms. We stuck with chicken and gouda but there’s no reason you couldn’t switch those out for a different protein or cheese, and of course you can use any kind of greens you want. Any way you make it, you should make it.
Roasted Winter Vegetable Chopped Chicken Salad
Adapted from Pink Parsley
5 Tbsp. olive oil + 1 tsp.
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
12 oz. brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved (or quartered if large)
1 small acorn squash, seeds scooped our, and sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, halved
1-1.25 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breast (about 2 large breasts)
1/2 large lemon, zested and juiced
8-10 cups salad greens of your choice
2/3 cup grated gouda cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together 5 Tbsp. of the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Place the brussels sprouts and squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 Tbsp. of the oil mixture. Place the mushrooms on another sheet and toss with 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil mixture. Put both sheets in the oven.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in a skillet set over medium high heat. Pat the chicken dry and season both sides with salt and pepper, then cook 2 minutes per side, until golden-brown but not cooked through. Add the chicken to the baking sheet with the mushrooms. Continue to roast both sheets of vegetables/chicken until the vegetables are tender with a crisp exterior and chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes, then chop into large dice.
Whisk the lemon zest and juice into the remaining olive oil-garlic mixture. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Toss the salad greens with the dressing, then gently mix in the vegetables, chicken, and gouda. Serve warm or at room temperature.