It’s National Salad Month. What a great way to celebrate and acknowledge good nutrition! And I’m joining in by sharing one of my many favorites ~ Grilled Vegetable Salad. This salad particularly fits my cooking sensibility because it is easy to prepare, can be made ahead of time, tastes delicious and the ingredients are flexible.
What do I mean by flexible ingredients? I mean that if you don’t have the list of vegetables or you don’t like some of the vegetables offered in the recipe, you can substitute them with whatever you choose. The vinaigrette is wonderful, but you could use another oil-based dressing, if you want to, and also replace the queso fresco with what you have on hand … feta, cubed mozzarella, shredded Parmesan, the list goes on and on.
For me, when a recipe has flexibility it takes the stress out of cooking and makes the whole endeavor so much more fun and creative. However, if you choose to follow this one to the tea, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. I found the original recipe in Cooking Light, June 2008, and it made my Blue Book (a 3-ring binder that holds all my go-to recipes), so you know it’s a good one!
Grilled Vegetable Salad
2 T sherry vinegar (red wine, white wine, or rice vinegar will do)
1 T olive oil
½ t kosher salt
1 ½ t honey
½ t Dijon mustard
¼ t freshly ground black pepper
Salad: (remember, substitute veggies at will!)
10 asparagus spears, trimmed
2 Portobello mushroom caps
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into ¼ inch-think slices
1 yellow squash, cut lengthwise into ¼ inch-think slices
1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
2 T chopped fresh basil
1 T chopped fresh chives
1 T chopped fresh parsley
6 T crumbled queso fresco
Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
Prepare vinaigrette, combining all 6 ingredients in a large bowl; set aside.
Coat prepared vegetables with cooking spray. Place veggies on the grill, cook for approximately 4 minutes on each side (or until slightly blackened). Remove veggies from the grill, let cool slightly and then cut into 1-inch (bite-size) pieces.
Add vegetables and herbs to the vinaigrette; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and serve!
This salad makes a great accompaniment to grilled meat or fish, or just add a cup of cooked garbanzo or black beans and you have a yummy, vegetarian meal.
Eat well. Be happy.