Grilled Vegetable Salad 6.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Smoke Signals Jul 20, 2018

Part Mediterranean, part French, this salad is luscious because the vegetables are thoroughly cooked and resultingly sweet.

You'll need a perforated vegetable grilling basket.

Serve as a first course or as an entree; the author suggests pairing the ratatouille with a bottle of Languedoc-Roussillon.

To read the accompanying story, see: The cookbooks you need to raise your grilling and barbecue game.

6 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-8 servings

  • For the vinaigrette
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground piment d'espelette or a blend of mild and hot paprikas, or more as needed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh tarragon or basil
  • For the salad
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 5 ounces each), cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 medium eggplants (7 ounces each), cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 medium bell peppers (about 5 ounces each; seeds and ribs removed), cut in quarters
  • 4 scallions or small spring onions, trimmed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (8 ounces), preferably red and yellow, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces medium cremini mushrooms (stems removed), wiped clean
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Fine sea salt
  • Herb sprigs of your choice, for garnish
  • Fleur de sel, for serving


For the vinaigrette: Whisk together the mustard, honey and vinegar in a medium bowl. Whisk in a large pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper along with the garlic and the piment d'espelette, then slowly whisk in the 1/4 cup of oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as needed.

For the salad: Brush the zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, scallions or spring onions and tomatoes all over with tablespoon or 2 of oil, as needed. Brush the mushrooms first with lemon juice, then with oil. Set all of the vegetables on a large platter near the grill. Season them lightly with salt.

Prepare the grill for direct heat: If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them on the grill. For a medium-hot fire (400 to 460 degrees), you should be able to hold your hand 6 inches above the coals for 4 or 5 seconds. Close the lid and open the vents about a quarter of the way. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Set the perforated pan on the grate, directly over the coals/heat. Once the pan is hot, place zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers and scallions or spring onions on/in it. Cook (uncovered) for 2 minutes, then turn the vegetables, brush them with oil, and brown for 2 minutes. Close the grill lid and cook the vegetables until they are tender throughout, which will take 10 to 12 minutes for the zucchini, peppers and white eggplant, if using, 12 to 14 minutes for purple eggplant and the scallions. Check them at least once during cooking; if they are browning too quickly, move them to the edge of the grill, where they will continue to cook but won't brown so quickly. Transfer the vegetables to the platter and return the grill pan to the grate.

Add the mushrooms; cook (uncovered) for 2 minutes on each side, then close the grill lid and cook for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender on each side. Add them to the platter.

To serve the salad, cut the vegetables into large, nice-looking, bite-size pieces (zucchini on the bias, eggplant lengthwise, etc.). Arrange them on the platter or jumble them into a serving dish. Strew the cherry tomatoes over the top, or toss them in.

Mince the tarragon or basil and whisk it into the vinaigrette.

Drizzle the vegetables with the vinaigrette, season with fleur de sel, garnish with herb sprigs, and serve either warm or at room temperature.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “French Grill: 125 Refined & Rustic Recipes,” by Susan Herrmann Loomis (Countryman Press, 2018).

Tested by Andy Sikkenga.

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