I’ve always thought it was ironic that summer is “grilling season” because who wants to stand in front of a blazing fire when it’s already a million degrees outside?! Maybe nobody wants to expose themselves to the extra heat, but many of us seem to think it’s worth it for the great variety of grill-marked foods we can produce all summer long. We’re fortunate to have a few grills included in our condo building’s amenities (the best part is that someone else cleans them and fills the gas tanks). For me, a trip to the grill means loading up a tray or wagon and taking a trip down the elevator. I’ve become a master of finding ways to grill our entire meal so there’s not much back and forth (or heating up the stove AND the grill). Therein lies the genesis of the grilled veggie salad. It’s, like, the simplest thing ever.
Here are the instructions:
Grill all the things. Put them on salad greens. Call it a grilled veggie salad and enjoy!
Just kidding (sort of). There are more detailed instructions below, but my ingredient list is just a suggestion. Obviously you can use whatever grill-able veggies or fruits you have around: maybe cherry tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, other types of summer squash, pineapple, watermelon, peaches…
If you’re eating outside and worried about your salad greens wilting, opt for a heartier green like kale and give it a good massage with oil beforehand. The salad dressing is my go-to lemon juice + olive oil combo, but grilling the lemon adds extra smoky notes and it might impress your friends. If you want to add protein, the options are pretty much endless. Grill some chicken, shrimp, or steak to top your salad. Throw in a handful of chopped nuts or crumbles of cheese.
What I’m trying to say is: you do you. Just grill your favorite things and make a salad out of it.
3 cups salad greens (about 5 oz.)
1 ear corn, shucked
1 medium sweet onion
1 medium zucchini
In a large bowl, toss salad greens with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, until lightly coated. Set aside.
Prepare vegetables for grill. Slice onion crosswise into ½” thick rounds. Slice zucchini into ¼” thick strips or rounds, depending on what will fit on your grill (smaller rounds will fall through some grills). Halve avocado lengthwise and remove pit. Cut lemon in half crosswise. Lightly coat all vegetables with oil.
Heat grill to medium heat. Grill all the vegetables until lightly browned and tender. Grill halved avocado and lemon just until grill marks appear.
Cut grilled corn kernels from cob, discard cob. Slice or dice avocado. Lightly salt all vegetables.
Squeeze grilled lemon juice on prepared salad greens and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt. Top salad with grilled vegetables and avocado. Serve immediately or chill all ingredients separately before assembling salad.