Mediterranean Grilled Chopped Vegetable Salad with Feta
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 1 small red onion
- 8 asparagus spears
- 3/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 30 green beans, trimmed
- 10 baby carrots, trimmed
- 1/2 C. pitted and halved Kalamata olives
- 1 C. mixed baby lettuces
- 1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese, plus 1/4 lb block
- 3 Tbs. lemon juice
- 3 Tbs. sherry vinegar
- 1/2 C. Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- 1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette:
- 2 C. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 C. sherry vinegar
- 1/2 C. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 C. pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
- 1/4 C. pitted and chopped Niçoise olives
- 1/4 C. honey
- 3 Tbs. drained chopped capers
- 2 Tbs. minced shallot
- 2 Tbs. chopped parsley leaves
- 1 1/2 Tbs. chopped mint leaves
- 1 Tbs. chopped basil leaves
- 1 Tbs. minced garlic
- 1 Tbs. grated orange zest
- Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the eggplant, zucchini and squash diagonally into slices 1/2 inch thick. Trim the fennel and cut crosswise into slices 1/2 inch thick. Peel the onion and cut crosswise into slices 1/2 inch thick. Trim the asparagus.
With 1/2 C. of the olive oil, coat all the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Set the vegetables aside.
Build a fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill, for indirect-heat cooking.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a mixing bowl with ice and water. Add the green beans to the boiling water and, as soon as it returns to the boil and the beans are bright green, use a wire skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer them to the ice water. Add the baby carrots and boil until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes; transfer to the ice water. Drain the vegetables and set aside.
When the fire is hot, place the vegetables on the cooking grid not directly above the heat. Cook, turning as necessary to prevent scorching, until are nicely browned and tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes total cooking time. As they are done, transfer the vegetables to a platter and leave to cool.
Cut the grilled vegetables into 1/2-inch pieces. Cut the carrots and green beans on the bias into 1/4-inch pieces.
Put all the vegetables, olives, lettuces and crumbled feta in a large salad bowl. Add the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well.
Divide the 1/2 C. of vinaigrette among 4 large salad plates, spooning it around the edge. Mound the salad mixture evenly in the middle. Using a cheese plane or swivel-bladed vegetable peeler, shave the block of feta over each salad. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
To make vinaigrette, put all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, adding a little salt and pepper. With a wire whisk, whisk them together briefly, then taste and, if necessary, adjust the seasonings with more salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 5 C.
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