Who says the grill is just for meat? Grilled Veggie Summer Salad makes a sensational lunch or a light dinner that is totally customizable. In fact, I used the grilled veggies in my meal prep last week, so I took salads to work for lunch all week. (See the notes below for other uses for the grilled vegetables.) You can top this salad with your favorite dressing, or try the Creamy Avocado Dressing in this recipe. Russ usually just likes ranch dressing for his salads, but he actually tried this one and liked it. Yay! Greek yogurt, avocado, roasted garlic, and seasonings combine to make a tangy, flavorful dressing that pairs perfectly with the smokiness of the grilled vegetables.
PREP YOUR GRILLED VEGGIES:
Set the grill to heat to 350ºF. While the grill is preheating, slice the veggies. I used eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, Portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, and red onion, but you can choose any of your favorite veggies for this recipe. Cut the ends from the eggplant, zucchini, and summer squash, then slice lengthwise about a quarter-inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if you’d like.Slice the bell peppers into quarters, removing the ribs, seeds, and stems. Remove the outer skin from the red onion, and slice off the ends. Cut the onion into half-inch rounds. (Don’t forget to save the vegetable scraps to add to your vegetable stock.)
I also prepped garlic to roast since the grill was going to be on anyway. Plus, I used the roasted garlic in the Creamy Avocado Dressing. To make roasted garlic, simply cut the top off the garlic clove, drizzle with a little avocado oil, then wrap in tin foil. Just make sure to keep the cut side right side up. The garlic takes about forty-five minutes, which was perfect since I had to cook my veggies in batches on the grill. When the garlic smells fragrant, it is done. Simply squeeze out the cloves when it is cool enough to handle, and store in an airtight container in the fridge up to five days.
Spread the veggies out on the grill and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes per side with the lid closed.(I used my Traeger with hickory pellets, but a regular grill will work just as well as the smoker.) Keep an eye on them so as they don’t burn, but avoid opening the grill too often and losing the heat, which will extend your cooking time. The veggies are done when they reach the softness you desire.
Remove the veggies from the grill, and slice crosswise when cool enough to handle. I sliced the onion rounds in quarters.
ASSEMBLE GRILLED VEGGIE SUMMER SALAD:
I used a mix of Romain hearts and baby spinach for my salad base, but feel free to use whatever greens you prefer. For two salads, I used three cups of loosely packed spinach (stems removed) and two cups of chopped romaine hearts. I love the crunch the romaine hearts provide. Divide the spinach and romaine between two bowls, then place a mix of the grilled veggies on top of the greens. (You could also add halved grape tomatoes and sliced avocado if you like.) For the two salads, I used the equivalent of half an eggplant, a quarter of the red onion, one and a half zucchini, one yellow squash, and one red pepper. I actually grilled about twice that amount of vegetables to have on hand for other dishes throughout the week. (See notes below for other ideas using the grilled veggies.) Top with Creamy Avocado Dressing, and toss. If you’re using this as part of your meal prep, simply assemble the salad, and wait to add the dressing until just before serving.
FOR THE DRESSING:
This Creamy Avocado Dressing is so flavorful and easy to prepare. Simply add avocado, Greek yogurt, avocado oil, roasted garlic, lime juice, red wine vinegar, smoked paprika, black pepper, and hot sauce to a food processor. Process until smooth. Add water, a few tablespoons at a time, to reach the desired consistency. This recipe yields about three-quarters cup dressing.
OTHER USES FOR THE DRESSING:
- Vegetable dip
- Quesadilla dip
- A spread for a wrap or pita pocket with veggies
GOT LEFTOVER GRILLED VEGGIES?
- Dice and add to omelettes or an egg casserole.
- Sauté to reheat, and serve as a side dish.
- Make a veggie quesadilla.
- Add to sandwiches, wraps, or pita pockets.
- Use in stuffed chicken breasts.
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