Salads are my favorite meal in the summertime for SO many reasons……
- They are healthy and clean and full of nutrients.
- Quick and easy to put together.
- You don’t have to heat up the stove-top or oven.
- You can usually use whatever is available in your fridge or pantry to make a lovely salad and dressing.
I came across this recipe quite by accident actually.
We grill food often during the warm months of the year…which in Georgia is from March through October. I love to season-up fresh veggies and throw them on the grill to have as a side dish to whatever we are serving for dinner…..Salmon, Grass-Fed steak, Pastured Chicken or Shrimp. Fresh summer vegetables go great with anything in my opinion. I typically use whatever I have on hand. I almost always keep zucchini, asparagus, various peppers and grape tomatoes in the fridge in the summer.
A few weeks ago, on a Sunday evening, we grilled some turkey burgers and I chopped up a few veggies to have with our burgers. I apparently chopped way too many because we had loads left over. I put them in the fridge and thought, “I’ll eat these for lunch tomorrow.” When I came home on Monday for lunch, I decided to put the veggies on top of some arugula and I sprinkled a bit of feta cheese on top and added some pine nuts. I really didn’t want to take the time to make a dressing so I just drizzled some of my favorite balsamic on top.
Can I tell you….. This made a phenomenal salad! It was so delicious that I decided that we would have this as a meal instead of a side. I have one of those husbands that doesn’t mind salads. He probably would prefer meat on an entrée-size salad, but he doesn’t balk when I serve a vegetarian meal. I’m blessed that way. 🙂
I did make a few changes to the salad when I served it again…. but the changes only enhanced the flavors. This time I toasted the pine nuts and before I grilled the veggies, I drizzled a bit of Tuscan herb infused olive oil that I keep in my pantry from High Country Olive Oil…the same company where I purchase my fave balsamic. It’s the Traditional Aged Balsamic. Check them out…. I use their olive oils and balsamic vinegars to jazz up so many of our meals.
Enjoy the recipe……My clean eating friends! 🙂
|Grilled Summer Vegetable Salad|| |
- 1 container or bag of organic arugula or mixed spring greens
- 1-2 organic zucchini's, depending on the size, sliced in 1 inch pieces and cut those pieces in half
- ½ organic yellow crook neck squash, depending on the size, sliced the same as zucchini
- 1 bunch of organic asparagus, tender tips only, cut off tough ends
- 1 organic red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 - 8 oz. package of organic baby Portobello mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp cloth and cut in half
- 1 organic red onion, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 pint of organic cherry or grape tomatoes, whole
- ¼ cup of pine nuts, toasted
- ¼ cup of feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 Tbsp. of Tuscan Herb infused olive oil (Alternatively use regular olive oil and add crushed garlic and fresh basil)
- Sea Salt or Real Salt brand salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- High quality aged balsamic vinegar to drizzle over top (Alternatively you could make a balsamic vinaigrette if you prefer...See recipe below.)
- Place the tomatoes into a small mixing bowl and set aside.
- Chop all vegetables except the tomatoes and place into a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the infused olive oil over the vegetables in the bowl, and the tomatoes, add salt and pepper to taste and toss well to coat all the vegetables and tomatoes with the olive oil.
- Put all the vegetables except the tomatoes into a grill pan and place on the grill. Do no put directly over the coals.
- Toss and stir the veggies until they are tender crisp. Approximately 8-10 minutes depending on the heat of your grill. Do not overcook. They should not be too soft.
- Approximately 5-6 minutes into the grilling time place the tomatoes into the grill pan with the other vegetables...as they do not need to cook quite as long.
- Once all vegetables are done...Remove from grill and set aside.
- In a small skillet, place ¼ cup of pine nuts over medium to high heat. Toss or stir the pine nuts until browned. This will only take about 2-3 minutes... watch closely as they will burn. Remove as soon as you see them turning brown.
- Arrange arugula or spring greens onto 4 dinner plates.
- Place the grilled vegetables on top of the arugula or spring greens. Sprinkle with feta cheese and pine nuts.
- Drizzle the desired amount of balsamic to dress the salad. You will not need much for full flavor.
- Serve immediately.
Click the link to go to my recipe for Balsamic Vinaigrette You may prefer that over plain aged balsamic vinegar.