Roasted Summer Vegetable Salad

This salad is as easy to prepare as it is delicious to eat. It is rich in antioxidants and can be enjoyed on its own or as a side dish. To boost nutrition, we don’t skin the peppers after roasting (it also cuts down on prep time!).  Adjust the recipe to suit your taste buds - the options are endless. We like eating this salad topped off with a few tablespoons of hummus – yum! Serves 8

7 Bell peppers, various colours, whole
1 Eggplant, large, sliced into rounds
½ cup Sundried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
8 Artichoke hearts, canned, rinsed, sliced
8 White mushrooms, halved
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
Fresh basil, for garnish

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 ml of your favourite hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

1.    Preheat oven to 400F, wash and pat dry peppers, slice eggplant into 1 cm thick rounds and slice mushrooms in half.  Toss in oil and lightly salt. Place onto large sided baking sheet or casserole dish. Please in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until they begin to char. 
2.    Prepare dressing: place all ingredients in a small high-sided bowl or glass and whisk to emulsify. Set aside. 
3.    Place artichokes and sundried tomatoes in a large bowl.  Tug on the stem of the roasted peppers to remove stem and seeds. Rough-cut roasted peppers. Quarter eggplant. Add all roasted vegetables to the artichokes and sundried tomatoes, stir to mix.  Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat evenly. Garnish with fresh basil.

Substitutions and options: Zucchini and eggplant are interchangeable or use a combination of both. Feel free to use any type of small mushroom and fresh parsley can stand in for basil.