Proscuitto and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette

Hello! I hope you are having a great Thursday!

Have you guys (L.A. and Orange County readers especially!) ever heard of a place called Mendocino Farms?!

During my lunch breaks downtown I frequent this place quite a bit! It is one of my favorite lunch spots if you are looking for something healthy, but hearty at the same time. Let's face it, not all salads really 'fill' me up like some can. One of their salads, and a healthy dose of sunshine are my favorite afternoon pick me up. 

This Proscuitto and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette is inspired by Mendocino Farms epic salad menu! If you're like me and like a really hearty salad, then this is for you! 

The Proscuitto and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette screams summer. Filled with fresh cherry tomatoes and all the basil my patio plant had to offer.

It's also fancy. Any dish with prosciutto=fancy to me. 

 This summer salad is also one of those great kitchen sink salads that have notes of salty, sweet and earthy. Which to me is a great combo! I'm also a natural balsamic lover. It is my go to salad dressing at any salad bar. There is something about the basil and the balsamic that marry together so well and give such a flavor punch!

While the salad may be 'fancy' it is also hearty enough for any summer meal! With the mozzarella, proscuitto, and tons of fresh greens it really is balanced out enough for any entree!

Proscuitto and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette

5-6 Cups of chopped butter lettuce
4-6 Whole carrots, diced
1 Zucchini, quartered
1 Teaspoon of salt
1/2 Teaspoon of pepper
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 Red onion, thinly sliced
1 Cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Cup of mozzarella pearls or cubes
6-8 Slices of prosciutto
1/2 Cup of candied pecans or almonds
Salt+Pepper to taste

for dressing
1/3 Cup of olive oil
1/4 Cup of balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons of pesto, homemade or store bought
1/4 Cup of chopped basil
Salt + Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F 

Toss quartered zucchini and diced carrots with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a small baking sheet. Bake veggies for 20-25 mins or until zucchini is golden brown and tender.

In a mason jar add in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pesto, basil and salt, and pepper. Add lid and shake for 30 seconds. Place into the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

In a large serving bowl combine butter lettuce, red onions, cooled roasted veggies,  mozzarella, prosciutto, and candied pecans. Toss ingredients and add chilled dressing just before serving.