This blackberry pecan roast veggie power salad recipe is a perfect vegetarian meal on its’ own! It’s packed with roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes combined with smooth navy beans, watercress, sweet blackberries and pears, crunchy pecans, all tossed in a sweet basil balsamic vinaigrette! It’s the perfect salad to start your meal or the perfect meal as is, and it’s the perfect Fall celebration!I’m a very salad-y person, I can’t have enough salads ever. This blackberry pecan roast veggie power salad is one of my friends’s favorites and it comes together in 30 minutes. Since I just came out of a very refreshing Summer and finally embracing Fall, I am embracing this salad—it has a good rainbow power and super veggie, nuts and bean boosters with a hint of sweetness from the pears and blueberries. Now if you’re into a more Summer-ish rainbow salad, you can’t miss this gorgeous Rainbow Power Grilled Haloumi Salad!
The beauty of this blackberry pecan roast veggie power salad is you can roast any of your favorite veggies, in this case I used cauliflower and sweet potatoes (again sticking to my friends’ favorite version!) which I roasted with salt, pepper, olive oil and a tiny pinch of turmeric. Why turmeric? Well it has a deep smokey flavor which is a little close to ginger and orange combined, and it adds a little character to these veggies.
I love adding some beans to this salad, because it boosts the protein value and makes it a perfect meal on it’s own—specially for vegetarian diets. The beans also add a creamy taste and smooth texture which is beautifully complimented by the crunchy pecans. Then I add a little sweetness to the salad with pears and blackberries. The blackberries not just sweetened up the salad, but also offer a nice texture and a nice tangy taste. This salad gets freshened up with watercress but kale and spinach, or spring mix would work just as fine here.
Then you can’t miss out the basil balsamic vinaigrette! It just brightens up the plate, it makes this blackberry pecan roast veggie power salad burst with freshness and rounds up all the wonderful flavors together!
This salad is so simple to make and super friendly for paleo, gluten free diets, vegan diets and perfect for anyone looking for a healthy lifestyle. Even if you’re far off from any of that, this salad is simply delicious! Bring it to your next party and you’ll be surprised at how fast it disappears. Enjoy:)
- 1½ cup of cauliflower florets (about ½ inch size)
- 1 cup of sweet potato cubes cut up into ½ inch cubes
- ¼ teaspoon each of salt , pepper and turmeric
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- ½ a large pear cut up into cubes ( or 1 small pear)
- ½ cup of whole blackberries
- ¼ cup of chopped pecans
- ½ cup of navy beans
- 3 cups of watercress
- Basil balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss the cauliflower florets and sweet potato cubes with salt, pepper, turmeric and olive oil and layer them on a parchment lined being sheet in a single layer.
- Roast the veggies for 18 minutes until tender, but not mushy. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
- In a large plate, layer the watercress at the bottom , then top with the roasted veggies, beans, blackberries, pecans and pears and drizzle the basil balsamic vinaigrette all over the salad. Toss lightly and serve.
Now onto the Balsamic Vinaigrette! It’s flavorful, easy, light and is used in endless ways, so it’s good to dress up your salads, grilled meats, veggies, sandwiches, and great as a marinade. I love this vinaigrette because it combines 2 great flavors, the basil and the balsamic. And to make the flavor shout out even more, I love using this protein packed nut free hemp basil pesto rather than fresh basil alone. And to boost even more flavor, I add extra fresh garlic to it. It’s very basil-y, garlick-y and sweet balsamic-y—if those are even words?!
The best thing about making vinaigrettes at home is that once you have your ingredients ready, it really takes a few seconds of shaking them all together and oh there it is! perfect easy flavor packed vinaigrettes that keep in your fridge and ready anytime you need them! Remember this Honey Greek Salad Dressing? I posted it when I first started this blog, and I hoped for one person to try it because it’s easy to overlook a “dressing” recipe when there’s plenty of real food recipes around!! But I got a few e-mails from different people who tried it and couldn’t stop making it–woohoo that felt good! Try those dressings and get in the woohoo mood too! 🙂
- ⅓ cup of Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of protein packed nut free hemp basil pestoor your favorite
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- In a sealable container, place all the ingredients together. Secure the lid on the container and seal well.
- Shake the container a few times until the vinaigrette is emulsified and all ingredients are well blended.
- Store in the fridge or serve right away.