The BBQ Queens’ Knife-and-Fork Grilled Vegetable Salad
It’s summertime. All you need for really great eatin’ is a trip to your garden or farmer’s market, your CUTCO knives and a grill.
Grilling vegetables brings out their naturally delicious flavors as well as more vivid color. The trick is to prep them so that they don’t fall through the grill grates. Use your CUTCO Chef’s Knife to slice; your Paring Knife to trim, stem and seed; and the kitchen shears (aka Super Shears) to snip fresh herbs for a garnish.
With a variety of grilled vegetables arranged on a platter, this salad seems more like an entrée. It’s a version of a salad we developed for Food & Wine magazine. You’ll be amazed at how much flavor the Crazy Good Vinaigrette provides when you drizzle it over the salad.
Credit: The Gardener and the Grill (Running Press, 2012)
3 to 4 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
1 large red or Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 small eggplant, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 small zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 small yellow squash, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 medium-size red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
1 medium-size yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
2 large heads romaine lettuce, cut in quarters
Olive oil for brushing
Fine kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces goat cheese
1/4 cup snipped, mixed fresh herbs, such as basil, Italian parsley, and chives
Crazy Good Vinaigrette:
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Prepare a hot fire in your grill.
Thread the skewers with the onion slices so that they look like large lollipops. Brush the skewered onion slices, the eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash slices, the bell peppers and the romaine quarters with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a large tray to take out to the grill.
Grill the vegetables in succession. Grill the eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash slices for 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning with grill tongs to get good grill marks. Grill the bell peppers for 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning several times, until blackened all over. Grill the onion slices for 4 to 5 minutes per side, turning once. Grill the romaine quarters for 1 to 2 minutes per side, turning as soon as the greens begin to char.
For the Crazy Good Vinaigrette, mash the garlic with the salt in a bowl with a fork until it becomes a paste. Stir in the lemon juice and olive oil until well blended.
Arrange the grilled vegetables on a platter, removing the onions from the skewers. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, then crumble on the goat cheese, sprinkle with herbs and serve.
An award-winning cookbook author, and food and lifestyle writer, Judith spends some of her working life in a tiara as one of the BBQ Queens. She has written eight barbecue books with co-author Karen Adler, including “The Gardener and the Grill.” In 2013 she and co-author Barbara Unell won an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook award for “The Back in the Swing Cookbook.” On her own she has written “200 Fast & Easy Artisan Breads: No-Knead, One Bowl,” “The Artisan Bread Machine” and “Heartland.” Her writing has appeared in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Better Homes & Gardens, Saveur, Country Living, Southern Living and Cooking Light. Her professional training includes La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine and Le Cordon Bleu in London.