Grilled Vegetable Salad for Thanksgiving

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If your oven space is at a premium while preparing your thanksgiving feast, why not employ your BBQ? This recipe for grilled veggie salad can be made quickly and bonus … you can prepare it in advance.  In fact the whole thing tastes better when it has had the opportunity to marinate in the fridge for half a day. So, throw the veggies on the BBQ right after you get the turkey in the oven or even before!

I am providing a list of ingredients for the salad I made but really; just use what you have on hand. The amounts you use will depend on how many people are joining you for the giving of thanks.

The recipe that follows will make a nice side-dish for six.

Ingredients

ingredients for the salad …

  • 1 ear of corn, shucked
  • 1 medium sized zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 purple onion, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 red pepper, seeded & cut into thirds
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded & cut into thirds
  • 12 spears of asparagus, woody part of stems removed
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, cut in half, washed and patted dry
  • 1/3 C olive oil

ingredients for the vinaigrette …

  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pushed through a press
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ C oil

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Preparation

  1. Pre-heat your BBQ to medium-high for about 15 minutes with the lid down while you prep your vegetables.
  2. Place all the veggies, except the romaine lettuce in a large bowl and drizzle the olive oil (hold 1 T of the oil in reserve) over-top. Gently toss the vegetables so they all get evenly coated with the oil.
  3. Lift the lid of the BBQ and spread the veggies around on the lower grill rack. Using long-handled tongs, flip them over and move them around so all sides of each vegetable gets cooked evenly. Some vegetables will grill faster than others so keep a close eye on them all, removing each from the heat when done.
  4. Brush the romaine halves with the reserved oil and place, flat side down on the lower rack of the BBQ. Grill for a few minutes until nicely charred. Remove and set aside to cool with the other vegetables.
  5. When cool enough to handle slice the grilled corn kernels from the cob and place them in a bowl large enough to handle all of the salad ingredients. Cut the remaining veggies into chunks, except the romaine, and transfer to the same bowl.
  6. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the Dijon mustard, minced garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Trickle the oil into these ingredients in a slow, steady stream while continuing to vigorously whisk it altogether. This action works to emulsify the oil into the rest of the ingredients, creating perfectly blended vinaigrette.
  7. Use half of the vinaigrette on this salad, reserving the rest for another day.
  8. Cover and refigerate until feasting time.
  9. Cut the charred romaine into chunks and toss into the salad right before serving.

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Vegetarian Mincemeat with Apples, Green Tomatoes & Butter

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In days gone by I used a mock mincemeat recipe from a really old version of The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, but sadly this book has gone missing from my bookshelf. I have a newer edition of the book but I think the recipe in this one has been altered from the original.

So, here’s my current version of Vegetarian Mincemeat. It combines what I can remember from that original recipe with the spices I have available in my pantry. Plus, I have also factored in the amount of green tomatoes and apples I have on hand. The butter in this recipe replaces the suet used in traditional mincemeat.

Once again I have to give kudos to my good friend Pat who allowed me to pick green tomatoes from her garden. She also supplied lovely Gravenstein apples from the Annapolis valley. I used quite a few of the green cherry tomatoes that don’t have a hope of turning red before the killing frosts set in. I found these little green orbs to contain more moisture than their larger cousins so I strained them (once chopped) before adding them to the big pot.

The end result: just under 5 pints of really tasty mock mincemeat.

Ingredients

  • 6 C green tomatoes, very small dice
  • 6 C tart apples, very small dice
  • 3 C raisins
  • 2 C apple cider vinegar
  • 4 C dark brown sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp finely grated whole nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ – ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt flakes
  • 2/3 C butter

Preparation

  1. Prepare the green tomatoes and apples. It takes quite a while to dice these ingredients by hand so feel free to use a food processor. Just make sure to work in small batches and use the pulse action. The apples and tomatoes can easily go from being pulsed into an ideal small dice to unusable mush in the blink of an eye. Drain the tomatoes after they have been diced if necessary.
  2. Put everything except the butter into a large pot and bring to the boiling point slowly, stirring occasionally. Note: I’ve used the smaller amount of ground cloves as I find it can be a strong and overpowering spice. Let your taste buds be your guide!
  3. Adjust the heat so the mixture continues to simmer. Continue to stir now and then over the course of approximately 3 hours. The apples take a while to cook. The mincemeat is done when the apples are no longer white. The mixture will be slightly chunky and a dark golden brown when ready to come off the heat (see picture above).
  4. If you need to keep the mincemeat until Christmas have your pint jars and lids sterilized and ready for canning. Process the filled jars according to your canners instructions.

 

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