Roasted Vegetable Salad with Grains (Mediterranean Buddha Bowl)
Enjoy a summer roasted vegetable salad bowl with a combination of Mediterranean roasted and fresh vegetables, lettuce, grains, and a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. The resulting Mediterranean buddha bowl is packed with nutrients, colors, and flavor. Plus, it's highly versatile and can be enjoyed gluten-free and vegan.
This salad makes use of leftover/meal-prepped roasted veggies and grains, so if you haven't already, start by cooking the rice (or grain of your choice) and roasting the vegetables.
Step 1: Chop and veggies
Chop the tomatoes and onion. I finely sliced the red onion and roughly cut wedges in the tomatoes. Feel free to chop smaller pieces if preferred. When using smaller tomatoes, you can chop them in half.
Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, lemon juice (or vinegar), and olive oil and set aside to "marinate."
Step 2: Assemble the roasted vegetable salad
At the bottom of a large bowl, layer the lettuce leaves. Alternatively, you can do this in individual bowls.
Add the grain and top with the roasted veggies and tomato mixture.
Slice the avocado and add the slices and burrata to the top of the veggie grain bowl.
Finish off the salad with a crack (or two) of black pepper and enjoy!
How to Store?
Make ahead: this Mediterranean bowl works great as a meal-prep dish. The only element I recommend making fresh is the tomato salad with the dressing, as the salt in the dressing can cause the tomatoes to release excess water. Alternatively, simply leave the dressing off the salad until right before serving.If you're preparing these ahead, I like to use heartier greens like spinach/kale in place of lettuce (which tends to wilt quicker).Store: once prepared, you can store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for between 4-5 days.
Experiment with elements: the best thing about this Mediterranean buddha bowl is how versatile it is. So experiment with the veggies and grain used for a veggie bowl you'll never get bored of!
For a vegan buddha bowl: you can simply use vegan versions of the cheese or omit it entirely and use hummus instead.
Don't salt the tomatoes too early: salting will cause the tomatoes to release their juices. This is okay if you plan on eating the roasted vegetable salad immediately. However, if you're prepping these vegetarian grain bowls for the whole week, then leave the dressing to one side until serving.
For a gluten-free version: simply make sure to use a gluten-free grain option like quinoa or rice. All the other elements are gluten-free already.
Good the grain al dente: this will ensure that they won't become stodgy/soggy while sitting in the bowl.
Enjoy warm or cold: if you decide to make the grain/pasta fresh for this Mediterranean buddha bowl, don't feel the need to chill first. This Mediterranean bowl somehow tastes ever heartier with warm grains.
Other add-ins and variations:The simplicity of this cucumber and onion salad recipe is one of its' top pros, so without turning it into something else entirely, here are just a few optional add-ins.
Olives: sliced or halved. The salty flavor will complement the slightly sweet roasted vegetables.
Cucumber: you can add finely diced cucumber with the tomatoes and marinated them together.
Spice: if you want a pop of heat in this rice salad bowl, I recommend using a pinch of red pepper flakes or some fresh chili.
Legumes: to add extra protein, you can beef up this Mediterranean bowl with legumes like white beans or chickpeas (crispy chickpeas will even help add crunch).
Tofu: add some marinated tofu for protein and flavor.
Falafel: instead of tofu, falafels (fried, baked, or rainbow) are another great way to boost protein (and can be meal-prepped).