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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

grilled veggie salad with goat cheese crostini

earlier in the summer we were grilling constantly. but after a freak heatwave had us dealing with temps in the high 90s (and no air conditioning in sight), and then a spell of cool rain and temps in the 60s, i'd nearly forgotten about the grill. thankfully, things seem back to normal this week, so yesterday we pulled it out from under it's shelter, dusted it off, and fired it up.

the inventory after saturday's market trip was as follows: 1 eggplant, 1/2 red bell pepper, 1/2 green bell pepper, 1 sweet onion, 4 zucchini. also had on hand a half log of chevre, and half of a baguette. i can work with that.

i was cooking for 2, so i gave us each 2 slices of the vegetables, and two crostini. obviously, this can be adjusted.

grilled veggie salad with goat cheese crostini

1 eggplant
1 zucchini
1 onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 handfuls salad greens
3 Tbps balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/2 cup olive oil
baguette, sliced
goat cheese
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

prepare grill, medium heat. slice eggplant, zucchini, and onion about 1/4" thick, and cut peppers into chunks or thick strips. brush or drizzle veggies with olive oil, and lightly season with salt and pepper. cook on grill, turning once, about 2 minutes each side, or until they are softening and getting a few charred spots.

meanwhile, make vinaigrette by combining balsamic and honey, and slowly whisking in olive oil to emulsify. season with salt and pepper.

mix the salad greens and grilled veggies in a bowl with the dressing, then stack veggies over greens on serving plate.

prepare crostini by drizzling both sides of bread slices with olive oil, salt and pepper, and cooking at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes, or until they are toasted. (it's easy to overdo these and end up with toast that feels like it will break your teeth, so watch them!) remove from oven, smear tops with generous amounts of goat cheese, and stick under the broiler just until cheese warms through and begins to soften.

serve salad with warm crostini, and drizzle with more of the vinaigrette.

it was delicious, though i did feel like the dressing needed more punch. maybe next time i'll stir a teaspoon of dijon mustard into it. or a clove of garlic. or both! i think the salad could also handle a couple of slices of grilled waxy potato, especially as a main course that needs to be a bit more hearty.

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