Balsamic Spring Vegetable Salad & a Giveaway!

 

How much do you love balsamic vinegar??? I swear I use it almost daily in my kitchen— for dressings, marinades, glazes, roasting, or, heck, just to dip some good bread in!

That caramelly, tangy, perfectly sweet liquid is just so versatile when it comes to cooking, and really lends itself to highlighting vegetable dishes. Aka one of the reasons I use it so much!

So when Boulder Flavors came to me about trying their new Balsamic Nectar, you know I was super excited to get my hands on it! Better yet, I just came back from a weekend getaway in Denver, Colorado, right down the road from where this delicious product is aged and made (in Boulder), so this made it even more fun to try.

 

Balsamic Spring Vegetable Salad {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkinandpeanutbutter.com

 

So, you may be wondering, what is Balsamic Nector? Balsamic Nectar is a contemporary take on traditional balsamic vinegar, made from the grapes of Modena, Italy and created free of any thickeners, added sugars, or preservatives (win!). It has a rich, complex taste that finishes off with the perfect pop of sweetness— which makes it great for all kinds of dishes.

My favorite thing about it is that it’s naturally thicker than most other balsamic vinegars I’ve used, so it’s awesome with just a little olive oil and garlic and lots of BREAD 😉

I decided to try using this Balsamic Nectar two different ways: roasting and as a dressing. I began by roasting crunchy asparagus and baby red potatoes in a mix of balsamic and olive oil until they were crispy and tender. YOU GUYS. I basically had to use every ounce of self control in my body to keep from popping all these potatoes into my mouth straight from the oven. They were SO good.

And that ASPARAGUS. Once roasted in that Balsamic Nectar, it has that perfect crunchy, tender, earthy, sweet bite— basically I could eat it for every meal. For the rest of my life. No joke.

 

Balsamic Spring Vegetable Salad {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkinandpeanutbutter.com

 

Once the roasting was done, I layered all these pretty spring vegetables onto a bed of wild arugula, along with some creamy avocado, tender chickpeas, and salty artichoke hearts— all topped off with a simple, yet seriously satisfying balsamic vinaigrette. I used Balsamic Nectar as the star of my vinaigrette, with some extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and dried herbs to make these flavors come to life even more.

So yeah, this is basically the best salad ever… I’m not biased or anything ;). Super simple, packed with flavor and texture, and totally chock full of nutrients! So you can totally go eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s after and not feel bad about it, AMIRIGHT?!?

 

Balsamic Spring Vegetable Salad {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkinandpeanutbutter.com

 

Since I love this product SO SO much, I’m giving away a bottle Balsamic Nectar to one lucky reader out there so they can try this deliciousness in their own kitchen, too! The giveaway ends on Saturday, May 14th at 11:59 PM EST. Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A special thanks to Boulder Flavors for supplying me with their Balsamic Nectar for this post and giveaway.

Balsamic Spring Vegetable Salad

Serves 1-2
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 asparagus spears
  • 1 cup red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic nectar, or balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups wild arugula
  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup canned artichoke hearts, halved
  • 1/4 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

for the balsamic vinaigrette

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic nectar, or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of dried oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the asparagus and red potatoes in 1 tbsp of olive oil, balsamic nectar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing once or twice throughout.
Step 2
In the meantime, whip up your dressing by whisking together the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
Step 3
Time to layer your salad! Start with a large handful of arugula, sliced avocado, a big scoop of red potatoes, roasted asparagus, artichoke hearts, and sprinkle the whole thing with chickpeas. Drizzle with your balsamic vinaigrette and dig in!

Balsamic Spring Vegetable Salad {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkinandpeanutbutter.com

pumpkinandpb

Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!

41 Comments

  1. GORGEOUS salad – I have been loving roasting veggies for salads. Love that you used balsamic for it, it gives an amazing flavor to almost everything! Seriously, bowl goals right there 😉

  2. I love balsamic vinegar any way you give it to me, but I especially love it on brussel sprouts!

    • Couldn’t agree more! Love how they get all caramelized and crispy!

  3. I love (LOVE!) balsamic vinegar. I use it as an ingredient in my work day salad dressings and I like to use it on my sweet sesame green beans recipe that I make multiple times in a month at our house.

    • Ohhh great idea using it on sesame green beans! I’ll definitely be trying that soon!

    • Thanks Maya! Thats so sweet, especially coming from you (your pics are always FANTASTIC!)

  4. You and I both, Liz! High quality balsamic is where it’s at.. rich, sweet and caramely, it’s the best! Drizzled over this nourishing bowl is so smart and ties all the flavors deliciously together. Love those potatoes … making this bowl extra hearty! Yaaas please on the post dinner ice cream 😀 ! Beautiful and tasty work my dear!

  5. I’ve never heard of balsamic nectar! I love using reduced balsamic on salads (especially with watermelon!) and I think that would be fun to try with this as well. Although you can never really go wrong with asparagus 🙂

    • This totally reminded me of that reduced balsamic consistency! It’s nice and thick and perfectly sweet 🙂

    • Ohhh that sounds amazing! Have you had it on ice cream before?

  6. Roasted vegetables and salad – 2 of my favourite things!! This looks delish and perfect for spring! I go through balsamic vinegar phases mostly because hubby-to-be isn’t really a fan so it stops me from drowning everything in it. But I am so intrigued by this balsamic nectar. It sounds heavenly.

    • We’re totally on the same page with roasted vegetables and salads!

  7. I adore balsamic vinegar and balsamic nectar sounds so interesting and delicious! I’m swooning over this salad – I wanna try it ASAP! My favorite way to use balsamic is definitely mixed with oil, to dunk some bread in 🙂

    • It’s SUPER delish!! I’m so with you on that olive oil / bread combo— I LOVE for that stuff!

  8. I love it on salads but also drizzled across pizza! Thanks for the chance to win. 🙂

  9. okay okay, i have *never* cooked with balsamic vinegar! this post has got me kicking myself for that poor life decision too :p the only ways i’ve ever used balsamic vinegar is putting it on my veggie pizza 🙂

    • Ummm you need to try it immediately!! It’s fantastic on pizza too, though, so you’re not missing out entirely 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by Valerie!

  10. Yessss, please! Put that stuff on errrrything! This looks so delicious, Liz. I love it in salads and one of my favorite ways, is to make a reduction and drizzle over pizza! YUM!

  11. I made this tonight for my wife and I for dinner! It was so delicious! I substituted butternut squash for the potatoes. We will be making this again! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

    • I’m SO glad you liked it Chad! I’ll definitely have to try your butternut squash substitution– that sounds awesome!

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