Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Salad...On the Grill!

For a few years I've seen grilled vegetable salad recipes on both online recipe sites as well as in magazines.  Saving them often, but never venturing out and actually making one.  Slicing and grilling the veggies before chopping them up into a salad just sounded like too many steps for my taste, especially for a salad. Then just last weekend, I went to the farmer's market.  I hadn't been in a couple of weeks, and my eyes were bigger than my stomach.  I bought SO MANY fruits and vegetables.  When they were pulled out of the bags and set on the counter, an overwhelming feeling came over me.  How was I going get through all of it before it went bad?  That's when I decided to try making a salad on the grill!
All the veggies I wanted to use were prepared for the grill by slicing the zucchini and tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices, shucking the corn, and cutting the romaine in half lengthwise.  Two boneless chicken breasts were also seasoned with salt and a lot of garlic pepper.  While the grill heated up, I combined olive oil, garlic, basil, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to make a baste for the veggies.   The olive oil mixture was spooned on the veggies and chicken and then brushed all over using a silicone brush.  It was important not to contaminate the liquid because what was left became the salad dressing.
After grilling the chicken and setting it aside, the veggies were set on the grill.  The slices were cooked on both sides until tender.  When the corn started to char, it was rolled to the next section until  the char was all the way around.  
Once those vegetables were done, the lettuce was placed on the grill - about 2 minutes each side - just long enough for some color.
All the grilled goodness!!!  
(The sun had gone down by this point so the remaining pictures don't make it look as light and fresh as it tasted.)
I chopped the lettuce into small pieces and set it in the serving bowl.  Then everything else was sliced or chopped and added to the lettuce.  
A bit more olive oil and the juice from the lemon were whisked into the left over mixture and tossed in the salad.  I had some gorgonzola crumbles in the fridge and added those as well.  It was a great addition.
Oh my goodness!  This was such an amazing salad - fresh and light.  I was a little worried about the texture of the grilled lettuce, but it was surprisingly good.  It still had some of the lettuce crunch, but blended really nicely with the softness of the other veggies.  Served warm, it was delicious,  but it also tasted really good as a cold salad having made enough for a few days of leftovers.  After my next farmer's market trip, I'm making this again!


  1. This looks and sounds absolutely divine! (minus the cheese and chicken, of course) You can fix it for me next time I'm in Southern California. ;)

    On my recent trip to Little Rock, I ate lunch at a place called The Root Cafe and had a salad similar to this (several of the veggies were different). They are well known for all their locally sourced items and the quality was quite evident in their food.

    Aren't you glad that you went to the effort now that you know how good it is!? :)

    1. You got it! :)
      Yes, it would be good with all sorts of grilled vegetables, and maybe even some of the stone fruit - for a little contrast. I was thinking eggplant or yellow squash would also be good. Usually I buy and grill zucchini and yellow squash together, but I forgot it this time. Next time it will definitely have the squash too.
      The whole time I wished I had a larger grill though. It would have been really easy to cook it all at once rather than in batches.

  2. Wow, that looks a good meal, and all on it's own too. Salad is something one can get real sick of reeeeeal quick. You need something to switch things up.
    Beaudacious was a word I was thinking. Then I thought stop robbing, the 90s want's their word back.

    Your grill is made of way stronger stuff than mine, but that bit in the pictures seems not to be all that much bigger than mine. Is there another 'wing/annex' to your one.
    You'd know better, but I'd always thought shucking was when you rubbed the ears from the husk. Mind you I've read its use in another context too. :-)

    1. Yes, it was a really comprehensive meal and quite filling too. And as I mentioned above, I think it's pretty versatile...can change things up a bit depending on the veggies used.
      Nope, that's all there is to the grill - two "burners". It's twice the size of my previous one, but it is a small one. Every so often it'd be nice to have a larger one, but really it's fine for my normal use.
      Shucking?!?! I've never heard it used in another context. :) Removing the corn from the husks is what I meant by it.