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 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
Pre-heat your BBQ to medium-high for about 15 minutes with the lid down while you prep your vegetables.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Use half of the vinaigrette on this salad, reserving the rest for another day.
Cover and refigerate until feasting time.
Cut the charred romaine into chunks and toss into the salad right before serving.
My friend Pat was good enough to share the last of her wax bean crop this year. Lucky us! So, tonight I am preparing these beautiful beans with the basil from my herb pot and some garlic (Last week’s bounty from Pat’s garden).
½ C packed basil leaves (reserve a few for garnish)
¼ C pine nuts
3 large garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a press
¼ C olive oil
¼ C finely grated parmesan cheese
black pepper & salt to taste
3 C wax beans, washed & trimmed
Combine basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor. Pulse a few times then pour in the olive oil and process until smooth. Add the grated parmesan and pulse a few more times until a paste forms. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. You can use a blender to make the pesto as well but you will have to scrape the sides down more often.
I usually leave the yellow beans whole, just trimming the stem end of each bean. Steam the prepped beans for about 5 minutes being careful not to overdue the cooking process. Toss the steamed beans with the pesto and serve immediately garnished with a few basil leaves.
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!
1 whole garlic bulb
1 T olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pre-heat oven to 400 F
Brush off any loose bits of the paper-like outer coating of the whole garlic bulb. Cut the top off the whole bulb.
Place the bulb on a piece of aluminum foil, 6” x 6” square, and drizzle 1 T olive oil over the bulb.
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.
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