Grilled salad? Something a little different
As I was growing up, my mother served vegetables every day. My mom was a very good cook, she enjoyed cooking and she enjoyed trying new things. I’ll bet many of you readers are just like that, good cooks who love to try out new things.
Trying a new recipe or creating a new dish takes more time than the ones we’ve been making for years. With a new dish, we have to plan, think about each step and make sure we do it just right. The first time we make a new dish, the result will be our foundation for that recipe. Many variations can come from that effort, but the first time will be the baseline.
I always have my cooking students read through a recipe two times before we begin. Next, we have an activity called “mise en place,” or gathering together all of the ingredients and equipment needed to proceed. “Mise en place” is an important cooking skill. When done regularly, your kitchen efforts will be smooth and quite rewarding.
Give mise en place a try with this wonderful recipe for a grilled summer salad.
Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette
2 Tbl Dijon mustard
2 Tbl shallots, minced
½ cup rice vinegar
1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1 Tbl mirin
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried mint
2 tsp dried cilantro
2 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried tarragon
1 cup canola oil
Whisk together all except the oil. When the sugar has dissolved, slowly whisk in the oil.
Grilled Veggie Salad with Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette
1 small eggplant, ends trimmed, cut into ½ inch thick slices
1 large red onion, halved and cut into ¼ inch slices
1 large fennel bulb, cleaned and cored cut into ½ inch slices
2 red bell peppers, halved, seeded and cut into ½ inch strips
1 cup Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 cups French or Italian bread cut into 1 inch cubes
Prepare grill, hot. Clean grate and rub with some oil so food won’t stick. In large bowl, combine eggplant, onion, red pepper, fennel and ¾ cup of the vinaigrette. Toss to coat and season with the salt and pepper. Grill veggies, turning often until done on all sides. Transfer to cutting board to cool. While veggies cool grill the bread cubes, being careful not to burn. Chop veggies into 1 inch pieces. Just before serving toss toasted bread cubes with the remaining ¼ cup of vinaigrette. Check seasoning and place all in serving bowl. Serve on a bed of salad greens. Enjoy, and save the rest of the vinaigrette in your refrigerator for salads later in the week.
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