Roasted Vegetable Salad with Thyme Vinaigrette

by formerchef on February 7, 2015

Post image for Roasted Vegetable Salad with Thyme Vinaigrette

Apathy. It’s a bitch.

When I started this blog (five years ago next month), I was filled with all sorts of hope and promise. I wanted to show people that cooking didn’t have to be intimidating, that it doesn’t have to be hard. Then the blog took off; traffic increased, it got all sorts of attention, and with it, my excitement grew. People were commenting, asking questions, getting involved, and I felt like I was making a difference. It was exhilarating and exciting and most of all, motivating.

Then, about two years ago, people stopped commenting. I wondered, “Is it me? What am I doing wrong?

Around the same time, I started seeing the same reaction from other bloggers. Call it the Facebook Effect, or Silent Blog Syndrome, but whatever it is, it’s pretty well documented that people have stopped commenting on blogs, and many have just stopped reading blogs all together. And if they do, they may just “like” the post on Facebook instead of commenting on the blog post itself.

Why does this matter, you ask? It matters because comments are the only form of currency I have. I don’t make any money from this blog; I don’t do sponsored posts (and for that, I hope you are thankful) and the ads and Amazon affiliate links I do have, net me coffee money and that’s about it (they certainly doesn’t cover the cost). So where’s the motivation to continue if no one is reading? I kept at it, but I could feel my will slipping with every new post I’d labored over but no one seemed to read.

What happened next is that nasty bitch Apathy reared her ugly head and whispered in my ear, “Why bother? Nobody cares…” and with that, I stopped posting for a while.

I thought long and hard about giving up blogging all together, but I don’t need to do that, I just needed to give it a rest. Since no one is paying me to do this, in virtual hugs or in actual dollars, I can simply take my time and do it when I want, right? If people like it, and learn from it, great. If not, then I’ve got a nifty little virtual cookbook here with some pretty pictures to share with family and friends.

Oh, and Apathy, you can just STFU.

Because I can’t leave you without a recipe, I give you this versatile salad; serve it warm in the winter, room temperature at a garden party in spring, or chilled in the summer. It travels well and holds up to being made in advance. Enjoy!

Oh, and if you like the dish, or struggle with apathy yourself, let me know.

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Roasted Vegetable Salad with Thyme Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 Cups

Ingredients

  • ½ pound green zucchini
  • ½ pound yellow zucchini or yellow crookneck squash
  • ¾ pound eggplant
  • 6 ounces baby carrots (or large carrots peeled and cut)
  • 1 each fennel bulb
  • 8 ounces red onion
  • 6 ounces baby bell peppers (or cut assorted yellow, red, and orange bell pepper)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice the zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant into 1 inch wide strips and then cut into 2 inch long pieces.
  3. Cut the fennel bulb in half and remove the core. Slice into ½ inch wide strips. Cut the red onion into ½ inch wide strips.
  4. Cut the baby bell peppers in half and remove the stem and seeds and then cut the pieces in half lengthwise. If using full sized bell peppers, cut them into 1 inch by 2 inch pieces.
  5. Place the zucchini, squash, and eggplant in a large bowl and toss with half of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan.
  6. Toss the carrots, onion, fennel and bell peppers with the other half of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan.
  7. Put both pans in the oven and roast until then begin to soften and brown. After about 15 minutes, check and stir up the items on each pan.
  8. The carrots, onion, fennel and pepper should take about 30 minutes to brown and the squash and eggplant will take about 35-40 minutes.
  9. When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 15 minutes and then combine all the roasted vegetables in a large bowl.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Whisk in the fresh thyme. Pour the vinaigrette over the roasted vegetables and gently toss with a large spoon so all vegetables are coated.
  11. The salad can be served immediately or within two hours at room temperature or can be chilled and served later. The vegetables do improve in flavor if allowed to marinate in the dressing for a few hours.
http://www.formerchef.com/2015/02/07/roasted-vegetable-salad-with-thyme-vinaigrette/

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lucy Griffith February 7, 2015 at 1:25 pm

I LOVE this recipe, something new to do with roasted winter vegetables. Have fallen in love with parsnips and will substitute for eggplant. Yum.

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2 formerchef February 7, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Lucy- even though eggplant is my favorite vegetable, parsnips are a wonderful substitution, especially in winter.

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3 Mirta Muscarolas February 7, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Please don’t stop writing about the wonderful food you cook! You do such an amazing job simplifying recipes and the photos are beautiful!

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4 formerchef February 7, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Thanks Mirta, I really appreciate that!

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5 Dash66 February 7, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Sorry. I’m one of the ones who always reads your posts, but rarely comments. However, I want you to know that I read every word, even when you post seafood recipes. (For some reason, I never have, even though I keep trying every so often in hopes that my tastes change) I always learn something from your posts, even with the recipes that aren’t to my taste

BTW, this vegetable salad looks amazing. I will be trying it soon! Thank you

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6 formerchef February 7, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Dash 66-Thank you! Happy to know you read even the seafood ones. 🙂 I’ll try to have more non-seafood soon…

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7 Myra February 7, 2015 at 2:44 pm

I’m sending you a virtual hug while wondering why I never thought of roasting vegetables in two different roast pans, based on the length of time they need to roast. I’m glad you’re still sharing your recipes, and that you told apathy to STFU.

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8 formerchef February 7, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Thanks Myra. It’s a long road…. 😉

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9 Kate February 7, 2015 at 4:47 pm

I, too, don’t want you to stop. And while i have made comments, there haven’t been all that many.
My available time has changed with increased spousal care and yours is one of only two food blogs I still follow.
I can imagine that it seems like a thankless job.
Thanks for posting this one so I can be reminded that even online relationships need care from both sides.
When you post it, I’ll comment on it! Deal?

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10 formerchef February 7, 2015 at 6:29 pm

Thanks Kate! I always appreciate your comments. 🙂

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11 Suzanne February 7, 2015 at 5:21 pm

I love roasting vegetables, especially on days like today, when I can pretend it’s cold and the precipitation is snow and not rain. But here’s my real question: how do you keep your pans reasonably clean? I broke down and got Bartender’s Friend, which I’d found recommended somewhere, and it helped, but I’ve still got lots of black gunk. I don’t have a self-cleaning oven, which my mother used as a means of cleaning her baking pans.

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12 formerchef February 7, 2015 at 6:35 pm

Good question about the pans. I’m not sure. I have some which are uglier than others. One of the things I think helps is that when baking I use silpat sheets (silicone liners), so that keeps a lot of stuff from burning onto the pan. I think I also always use the “cleaner” ones for photos. 😉

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13 Steve February 7, 2015 at 10:40 pm

I didn’t know that I needed this recipe, but I do — thank you, Kristina. This is exactly what I want to be eating right now. And thank you for every single post you’ve shared. There are a handful of bloggers whose voices I really trust, people whose stories I’ll always click through to read, and you’re one of them. I never really thought about that until now, which seems a little peculiar. but it’s true.

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14 formerchef February 8, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Steve- Thank you so much. I appreciate your vote of confidence!

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15 Carol Goodin February 8, 2015 at 9:36 am

I’ve missed your posts. Just because I’m not a regular commentor doesn’t mean that I don’t read and relish each recipe. In the past couple of years, my family has embraced a vegan lifestyle and I’ve enjoyed “veganizing” many of your recipes. These delicious dishes have made a welcome change from the standard lentil-loaf fare.
This salad looks wonderful! I will be making it this week- no alteration needed! Please hang in there- I will really miss you if you stop altogether!
/Carol

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16 formerchef February 8, 2015 at 1:54 pm

No worries Carol, I don’t plan to stop. I simply needed to vent my frustration. The outpouring of love in these comments has been a big boost, though that really wasn’t my goal (not trolling for love, I swear)!

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17 Susan De Masi February 8, 2015 at 9:39 am

As a chronic over-planter of green and yellow zucchini, I am always looking for ways to use them, rather than leaving big bags of squash on the neighbor’s front porch in the dead of night. This recipe looks so good I am not going to wait for summer, store bought zucchini will do for now.

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18 formerchef February 8, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Susan- I learned a long time ago that one single zucchini plant is more than enough for the two of us. I still have to give it away!

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19 Do-Rag Dave February 8, 2015 at 9:52 am

Looks great. I’m on my way to the store. Going to try this to go with this evenings dinner

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20 Joan Messenger February 8, 2015 at 10:36 am

I read and don’t comment…bad me!! I have a food blog as well and like you, don’t expect to make money, just share my food knowledge. I get a few comments, but, notice mostly that people coming in to look stays about the same. So, like you I keep at it, because I enjoy it and my kids and grand kids will have some of my recipes. I only have a few blogs I really like and one of them is yours, so, keep going buddy!! Cheers! JJ

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21 Erin February 8, 2015 at 10:40 am

This looks amazing! Sorry for the lack of virtual love–I promise to do better!

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22 Susan February 8, 2015 at 11:05 am

Please don’t stop writing — I always learn something from your posts. Like today, using two roasting pans for the different types of vegetables. Common sense really, but I’ve never thought to do it. I really enjoy your posts, and the pictures are always beautiful!! Thank you!!

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23 formerchef February 8, 2015 at 1:58 pm

So glad you feel it’s worthwhile and learn something! That’s my goal!

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24 Patty February 8, 2015 at 11:40 am

That looks so bright and delicious on this wintery day. Thank-you!

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25 kristi February 8, 2015 at 12:27 pm

No! Don’t stop writing your blogs, I love them. I’m just busy with 3 teenage boys, a full time job and trying to keep the house somewhat clean so I read but don’t comment. This looks like a great recipe. I’m substituting diced Idaho potatoes in place of the fennel and eggplant (my grocery stores eggplant looked awful). My husband and boys are going to love this. Now do you have a separate blog somewhere with Algebra help…I will definitely comment 🙂

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26 formerchef February 8, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Kristi- I do have another blog. Alas, it’s about travel, not Algebra! 🙂

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27 Nywoman February 8, 2015 at 3:54 pm

I feel really bad not having commented. I know when I post on my face book page or blog I want comments. Yet I look forward to everything you post read it, and ignore it. Please accept my apologies, you are such a talented person and if you didn’t post I would be very upset. I have made several of your recipes, none come out looking as spectacular as yours, enjoyable all the same.

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28 formerchef February 8, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Please don’t feel bad. That wasn’t my goal, I just wanted people to understand why I hadn’t been posting and how sometimes it can be difficult when it feels like you’re shouting into the void. But it’s really nice to know you’re still reading. 🙂

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29 LouisaH February 8, 2015 at 5:04 pm

I have followed your blog for a few years and always love your recipes. Your white bean, sausage, and kale soup recipe is one of my all time faves and I’ve made it several times.

I admit that I had no idea how important feedback is so if it helps at all, just know how much I enjoy everything you post!

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30 formerchef February 8, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Thank you Louisa. That soup is one of my favorites too and I make it several times a year!

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31 Kim February 8, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Looks yummy. Good idea to use 2 pans. Thx

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32 pam February 8, 2015 at 6:31 pm

I love your blog and have noticed that you slowed down on your posts. Sorry you feel abandoned by your readers. I wrote to you a long time ago. It was a gushing sort of comment. I think it started with “I don’t know how I got so lucky to run into this blog but it is the best food blog I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading” or something like that. Please don’t be discouraged. You have talent – so kind of you to share it. We are becoming a nation of people raised by wolves but it doesn’t mean we have to become THEM.

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33 formerchef February 9, 2015 at 7:55 am

Pam- What a sweet thing to say! Thank you (and gushing always appreciated).

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34 Lucy February 8, 2015 at 9:28 pm

Please don’t stop!! I love and read all your posts. I admit I don’t always comment (owning a Blackberry doesn’t make it easy) but I look forward to your recipes, travel reports and kitchen makeovers. It’s here that I learned all about shrubs, which has opened up a new appreciation of different cocktails!

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35 formerchef February 9, 2015 at 7:53 am

Thanks Lucy! Try commenting on a computer instead of a phone, way easier! 😉
Actually whatever works for you, as long as you’re reading! Though mobile versions don’t always show the top photo…

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36 Karen February 9, 2015 at 8:57 am

If it means anything, you are in my top ten! I live on the web with the digital design agency that I own, and am constantly searching for inspiration for food, design, etc. Your recipes and blog are consistently outstanding, and I have shared them many times with friends and family. Thank you 🙂

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37 formerchef February 9, 2015 at 9:19 am

Karen- it means a lot, thank you!

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38 tish February 9, 2015 at 10:09 am

sorry Im not a commenter – your blog is great with fabulous basics and techniques that I refer to when Im planning an evening with friends – let us know what you need in terms of “currency” beacause this is a great blog and I use it very frequently!

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39 formerchef February 9, 2015 at 11:54 am

Glad to hear you frequent the blog! All I ask is the occasional comment; let me know what you think, if you’ve tried the recipe and how it came out, what sorts of things you’d like to see in the future. The great thing about food blogs as opposed to a standard cookbook, is that they are a two way street!

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40 Barbara February 11, 2015 at 12:46 pm

Your blog is absolutely wonderful! I, too, am guilty treating it in an impersonal way– treating it like a food magazine rather than considering the very real person behind it and all the magnificent effort and talent that you put into making this site such a delight. Let me tell you that the recipe you posted for your “Basic Marinara Sauce” some years ago is truly one of the highlights of each and every late summer for me. I printed it out and keep it in a clear sleeve in a binder. It could not be better! (Until I found your blog, my marinara was never quite right.) I remember your post about your tomato plants that year, and I could so relate! And I loved hearing about how your Sicilian grandmother threw into the pot whatever she had on hand. Very much like my German grandmother and mother (also a child of the depression) did with their cooking! Yes, there was no measuring of ingredients with those women unless they were baking! Anyway, I hope you don’t give up. Your blog is a special place. Thank You!

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41 formerchef February 12, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Barbara- thanks so much for your thoughtful reply! Glad you enjoy the Marinara recipe so much; I make gallons of it every year!

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42 chris chuah February 15, 2015 at 11:52 am

I am also guilty of apathy but I like to reassure you that your blog is very much appreciated by us “wannabe” cooks!
Thanks to your post on “How to Brine and Roast a Chicken” my wife thinks my roast chicken is “divine”
I hope you will keep sharing your great knowledge of cooking with us

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43 formerchef February 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Thanks Chris!

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44 Nina February 20, 2015 at 5:26 pm

I love your blog! Please don’t go away! I don’t see many comments on my blog, but I think it’s still a way to connect with people about what we are doing.

And I am one of those folks who do not eat seafood but who still read the posts!

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