Food Thursday: Grilled Vegetable Salad

As the weather heats up so does our grill! I love meals cooked on the grill and I love it when I have a side dish that can also be cooked on the grill so we’re not heating up the kitchen. Here’s one that uses the vegetables we’ll all be seeing at the Farmer’s Market soon (Crown Point’s Farmer’s Market opens the first Saturday in June Chesterton’s European Market opened last week! And there are others throughout NWI or wherever you live – all worth a visit.)

Grilled Vegetable Salad
Homemade Dressing:
2/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup milk
salt & pepper (about 1/2 tsp each)

1. Combine ingredients, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Cover and chill.
It’s really that easy to make your own dressing but if you’re not into it – go buy a bottle of blue cheese dressing.

Salad:
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
1 medium red onion, sliced
Cooking spray or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1. Prepare grill to medium heat.
2. With harder veggies like those listed above (everything but the onion) it helps to blanche them first. Drop them into boiling water for just three minutes. Drain and place in a bowl filled with ice water for about a minute to stop the cooking process. Drain again then dump them into a large bowl and add onion slices. Lightly coat vegetable mixture with cooking spray or – if you’re not concerned about fat content – use a tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and garlic salt; gently toss to coat.
3. Place vegetable mixture in a wire grilling basket or grill pan coated with cooking spray. Place grilling basket on grill rack, and grill 7 minutes on each side or until lightly browned (if using pan instead of basket, just stir them around frequently and cook for about 15 minutes). Toss with dressing before serving.

This works with just about any veggies that are firm enough to stand up to grilling – asparagus, broccoli or peppers – just cut up into 1/2 inch pieces. Zucchini or yellow squash is great on the grill and doesn’t need to be blanched first.

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