Slow-Roasting is a method of cooking at a low, even temperature for a long period of time. The first time I heard about using this on fruit was on an episode of The Splendid Table. The guests talked about how roasting at this low temperature intensifies the flavor. It brings out the natural sweetness.
What is Slow-Roasting?
Slow-Roasting implies a low temperature, usually about 200F. Foods cooked at this temperature are cooked very slowly. In turn, this creates a gentle heat that maintains a tender texture. You get natural sweetness without the harsh caramelization that comes with higher temperatures.
You can use this method of cooking on any plant-based foods. However, because the goal is to bring out the sweetness of food, it’s best used on foods that are naturally sweet. Candy onions, cherry tomatoes, and grapes are all good examples. You want to use it on foods that naturally have a lot of juice. As the foods roast, the juices get concentrated. This means you get intense “burst in your mouth” flavor.
Slow-Roasted Strawberry Bibb Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
Easy | Servings: 6 | Ready In: 40 minutes | Yield: about 6 cups salad + 2 cups dressing
Roasting strawberries brings out their natural, juicy sweetness for this elegant salad. Combined with crunchy Boston Bibb lettuce and rich almonds, this recipe is simple and healthy. The dressing is a surprising, oil-free balsamic. Enjoy this as a plant-based vegan lunch or serve as a first course for a dinner party. If you love this, you’ll also love: Rainbow Carrot Walnut Arugula Salad with Oil-Free Fig Dressing, Whole Wheat Orzo Ratatouille Vegetable Pasta Salad, and Strawberry Mango Chia Jam.
For the Roasted Strawberry Boston Bibb Salad:
- ½ pound (about 2 cups) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 head Boston Bibb lettuce, leaves torn apart, washed, and dried
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
For the Oil-Free Strawberry Balsamic Dressing:
- ½ pound (about 2 cups) fresh strawberries, hulled
- 3 tablespoons good quality Balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
How it’s Done
To Slow-Roast the Strawberries:
Place the 2 cups sliced strawberries in a small baking dish. Roast until soft and juicy, at least 30 minutes. You can roast them longer, up to 2 hours, at this low temperature. The longer, the better.
To toast the almonds:
Place the almonds in a small, dry saute pan. Toast over medium heat until they start to turn golden brown and become aromatic, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
To make the Oil-Free Strawberry Balsamic Dressing:
In a blender, combine all ingredients for the dressing. Puree until smooth. Taste to adjust seasoning. Set aside until ready to use.
To assemble the Roasted Strawberry Boston Bibb Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing:
In a large bowl or platter, spread the Boston Bibb lettuce leaves. Sprinkle on the toasted almonds. Scatter the roasted strawberries. Drizzle on the Strawberry Balsamic Dressing. Serve immediately!
Chef Katie’s Tips
Oil-Free: I’m on a mission to get rid of empty calories, like those in refined olive oil. The dressing for this salad is oil-free. The fiber from the strawberries help to naturally thicken the dressing.
Nut-Free: Substitute sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for the almonds.
Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar: Use a good quality Balsamic vinegar for the dressing. If you don’t have this, you can substitute with another light vinegar. Champagne vinegar and white balsamic vinegar would also work well.
Dressing Variations with other Fruits: You can use the same ratio for making other fruit-based salad dressings. Substitute the strawberries with fresh peaches, blueberries, raspberries, and plums for other delicious flavors.
Make it a Meal: To make this salad a meal, top it with cooked whole grains like faro, quinoa, or wheatberries. You can also add a can of chickpeas, white cannellini beans, or a cup of green peas.
Watch to Learn More:
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 5 g||8 %|
|Saturated Fat 0 g||2 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0 %|
|Sodium 100 mg||4 %|
|Potassium 190 mg||5 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 10 g||3 %|
|Dietary Fiber 3 g||11 %|
|Sugars 6 g|
|Protein 3 g||6 %|
|Vitamin A||4 %|
|Vitamin C||46 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Shopping and Gear List
- Calivirgin | Calivinegar Barrel-Aged Modena Balsamic Vinegar | Made in Italy
- Nature’s Eats Blanched Slivered Almonds, 10 Ounce
- McCormick Culinary Basil Leaves, 5 oz