Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grilled Vegetable Salad

If you've been asked to bring a salad to a party this weekend, and want to avoid the typical coleslaws and potato salads (or even not so typical versions), consider this grilled vegetable salad.  It's colorful, full of fresh produce, and has just enough bacon to make you forget you're eating healthy stuff. 

Quantities, and even the vegetables themselves, can be adjusted depending on your tastes and what's available.  As an alternative to a grill basket, grill slices of sweet potato and zucchini, and then dice them.  Everything can be grilled in whatever order works for you.  If you make this ahead, do check the seasonings before serving- the acidity from the vinegar can fade a little, and just a little more on top can brighten things back up.

Grilled Vegetable Salad

What's in it:

2-3 sweet potatoes, diced into 1/2" cubes
2-3 zucchini or summer squash, diced into 1/2" cubes
3-4 ears of corn, shucked
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste (I like cumin and chili powder)
2 bell peppers
3-4 scallions, or garlic scapes if you can get them
4 slices of bacon, cooked and finely diced
2-3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, to taste
More salt and pepper, to taste

How to make it:

In separate bowls, stir the sweet potatoes and zucchini with olive oil, using just enough to coat the vegetables.  Season with salt, pepper and any other desired spices.  Do the same for the corn, wrapping in foil for the grill.

To cook vegetables, heat grill to medium high heat.  Put the bell peppers on and roast until charred, turning occasionally, and place in a zip-top bag or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid when done.  Grill the corn to your desired doneness- I like mine still a little crunchy.  Cook sweet potatoes and zucchini in a grill basket, until cooked through and starting to brown (the sweet potatoes can be given a head start in the microwave- just cover with plastic and give them about 3 minutes on high).  Briefly cook the scallions, just enough to tone down the onion flavor and get a touch of brown on them.

When all vegetables are cooked, finish prepping them.  When cool enough to handle, slice the corn kernels from the cobs, remove the peppers' skins and dice the flesh, and thinly slice the scallions.

Combine all vegetables and bacon, and season to taste with red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.  Serve warm or at room temp.

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