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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How to Make Apple Rosehip Jelly

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Last year there was a bountiful harvest from the wild apple trees surrounding our home but this year there aren’t as many apples for easy picking. However, it seems the rose bushes are yielding plenty of ripe red rosehips so I’ve paired these tart little wonders with the apples I can easily reach for a small batch of vitamin c rich jelly.

I used approximately 5 cups of apple chunks (stems removed but skin and cores with seeds included) and 3 ½ cups of rosehips (stems removed and bottom parts cut off). You can vary the amounts of chopped apple and rosehip for this first part of the recipe. Just make sure to use more apples than rosehips as the pectin from the chopped apples is what actually causes the jelly to set up. You won’t be adding any extra pectin to this recipe for jelly.

I like to start the jelly making process in the early evening. This allows the juice used for the jelly time to drip out of the prepared fruit overnight.

Preparation Part One

  1. The rosehips take longer to break down so start the jelly making process by placing them in a stainless steel or enameled pot and add enough water to just cover the fruit. Bring to a boil and adjust the heat so the mixture stays at a slow boil for about 30 minutes or until the rosehips become soft and their skins break open. You may have to add extra boiling water from the kettle during this process.
  2. Add the apple chunks and more boiling water to just cover the fruit and continue to boil for 20 more minutes. Remove from the heat and lightly mash up the soft apple chunks and rosehips.
  3. Pour into a sterilized muslin jelly bag and suspend over a glass or stainless steel bowl. Refrain from squeezing the bag if you want your jelly to be clear and not cloudy. Allow the juices to drip out slowly overnight. Alternatively, you can also line a large enameled colander with several layers of clean cheesecloth and place the boiled and mashed fruit inside. The colander can then be placed over a stainless steel or glass bowl and left overnight so the juices can drain out slowly.

Preparation Part Two

  1. Measurements must be more exact for this part of the process. Measure the juice that has gathered overnight. Use one cup of sugar for every cup of juice. The amounts of fruit I used garnered 3 cups of juice so I used 3 cups of sugar to make my small batch of jelly.
  2. Place sugar and juice in a stainless steel pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Adjust the heat under the pot to keep the liquid at a rolling boil. This mixture must reach 220 F which is the gelling point. The best way to know when your jelly should come off the heat is to use a thermometer. If you don’t have one you can always use the old fashioned method of placing a small amount of liquid on a cold plate. Place in the refrigerator for a few moments then drag your finger through the liquid. If the trough created holds its shape then it’s time to take the jelly off the heat.

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Note: The amounts of fruit cited above took 20 minutes to reach 220 F. If you are making a larger batch the boiling time will be longer. I ended up with 3 ½ small jars of jelly. Each jar holds about 1 cup of jelly.

  1. Pour jelly liquid into sterilized jars leaving ¼” space at the top of the jars. Screw on the sterilized lids and seal by placing in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (at sea level). Add one minute for every 1000 feet above sea level.

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Tabouleh (Tabbouleh)

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We have had hot muggy days over the past week; the type of weather that isn’t conducive to indoor cooking. Who wants to slave over a stove in the summertime anyway? Not me. Tabouleh is a perfect option when the temperature soars and there’s no need to even crank up a burner. Just use the kettle to boil water for the bulgur. That’s it! Even though tabouleh is a filling salad, the fresh mint along with the lemon juice in the dressing keeps it tasting light and refreshing.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 C bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 1 C boiling water
  • 1 C tomato, small dice
  • 1 small red onion, fine dice
  • 1/2 C red bell pepper, fine dice
  • 3/4 C peeled & seeded cucumber, fine dice
  • 1/2 C minced fresh parsley
  • 2 T minced fresh mint
  • 1 tsp kosher salt flakes
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 C lemon juice
  • 1/2 C olive oil

Preparation

  1. Pour hot water over the bulgur and set aside for about 30 minutes. During this time the bulgur will absorb the water and soften up. Chill the prepared bulgur in the fridge for at least an hour before mixing with the remaining ingredients. I often prepare the bulgur the night before I make tabouleh.
  2. Combine the tomato, red onion, bell pepper,cucumber,parsley, mint and kosher salt.
  3. In a separate container mix together lemon juice, olive oil and chili powder.
  4. Add the chilled bulgur to the vegetable mixture and combine with the prepared dressing. Chill before serving. Garnish the salad with sprigs of fresh mint.

 

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Roasted Garlic

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Roasted garlic often accompanies meals on our table. We love it plain and unadorned and like to include freshly roasted cloves on a board of assorted appetizers when entertaining. In fact there’s a long list of recipes we make that incorporate these mellow cloves including: Garlic Aioli, Hummus (Houmous) and our homemade Low Carb Pizza. You could almost say roasted garlic is a kitchen staple at our house!

Ingredients

  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400 F

  1. Brush off any loose bits of the paper-like outer coating of the whole garlic bulb. Cut the top off the whole bulb.
  2. Place the bulb on a piece of aluminum foil, 6” x 6” square, and drizzle 1 T olive oil over the bulb.
  3. Wrap the foil around the garlic bulb, place the packet on a cookie sheet and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and open up the foil packet to let the garlic bulb cool. When you can handle it easily, separate into individual cloves and remove the papery skin from each clove

Roasted Garlic

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