Amanda and I stopped for lunch at a small family-run Armenian restaurant. The meal was fine but what sticks in our memory was the first course — a grilled vegetable salad. The flavor of the grilled vegetables and the dressing blended perfectly. We could have made a meal on it that day. We came home and I closely duplicated the recipe (and, in fact, we have made meals on this salad at home). This is my version of that grilled vegetable salad. Bon appetit!
Ingredients: Grilled Vegetable Salad
- 1 large eggplant cut in ½ inch cubes
- ½ pound mushrooms, sliced
- 2 large, thick fleshed sweet pepper – red or yellow bells are a good choice – cut in ½ inch cubes
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut in ½ inch cubes
- 6 large cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ cup sliced black olives
- ½ cup finely minced fresh parsley (flat-leafed)
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice (a dash of red wine vinegar if you like more acid)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Steps: Grilled Vegetable Salad
- Wash and chop all the fresh produce and herbs.
- Divide the minced garlic into three portions. One portion for the eggplant, one for the mushrooms and one for the peppers.
- Keeping your three vegetables separate, toss them with garlic and olive oil.
- Arrange the veggies on cookie sheets to roast in a 450 degree oven. Keep the vegetables separate, even though two may share a baking sheet. The mushrooms will finish first, the peppers second, and then the eggplant. Be sure the vegetables are only one layer deep in the pan to ensure over-all good roasting.
- As the vegetables finish, pile them into a large bowl for tossing.
- Add the tomatoes, parsley, black olives, lemon juice, and toss, toss, toss. You want every piece of vegetable coated with the garlic oil that was created in the roasting process.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add lemon juice, olive oil, (and vinegar) a little at a time until your salad is dressed to your satisfaction.
Grilled Vegetable Salad Uses
Inspired from Armenian cooking in the first place, this salad is a natural fit with lamb and beef dishes. For a vegetarian option, serve it over a bed of lettuce or in a pita bread. It packs well for lunch as-is. This is a very versatile grilled vegetable salad.
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