A salad of grilled vegetables avoids the timing difficulties inherent in grilling a main course and side dishes. The salad can be made in advance, and the ingredients can be mix-and-match. Ratios don't matter that much here. If you'd like more corn or more zucchini, go ahead and add. It's hard to mess up this dish.
Hardly any oil is used, which is great. Most of it burns off during grilling. The vegetables are so flavorful on their own, all I need to add is some vinegar, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Make Ahead: The vegetables can be grilled or the salad put together and refrigerated up to a day in advance. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Servings: 8 - 10
- 2 ears corn, shucked, rinsed and wrapped individually in aluminum foil
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 4 fat scallions, white and light-green parts only (4 ounces)
- 2 pounds zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 4 to 5 seconds.
Place the wrapped corn ears and the bell pepper on the grill. Cover with the grill lid and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes. Remove the pepper when the skin is charred on all sides. After 20 minutes, check the corn, opening the foil carefully. The corn is done when it is partially browned.
Place the pepper in a medium bowl and cover with foil. Unwrap the corn and let cool.
Place the scallions on the grill. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, turning every minute, until the scallions are just starting to char. Watch carefully. Remove from the grill and let cool.
Combine the zucchini slices with the oil and salt; mix to separate the slices and coat with the oil. Transfer the slices to the grill, laying them on the grill grate in a single layer. You will need to do this in 2 or 3 batches. Cover with the grill lid and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the zucchini has grill marks and is starting to brown. Turn the slices over, cover and cook for about 2 minutes, until the second side has grill marks. Remove from the grill and place on a plate or platter to cool. Repeat until all of the zucchini is grilled.
Use a small knife to cut the kernels off the cobs, letting them fall into a large bowl; discard the cobs (or save for another use, such as making corn broth).
Remove the charred skin, core and seeds from the pepper, rinsing if needed. Cut the remaining flesh into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice and add to the corn.
Finely chop the grilled scallions and add to the corn and pepper mixture.
Cut the grilled zucchini into 1/2-inch dice; add to the vegetables. Add the vinegar and black pepper to taste; stir to combine. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Bring to room temperature and toss gently before serving.
From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Email questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.