I have seen Giada on TV once, making something like this as an Italian antipasto. I didn’t take any notes and believe it was originally combined with orzo, cheese and meat. Well, it looked delicious so I tried to create a meal based on that inspiration. It served us as a delicious light dinner with few grilled shrimps and we loved it! Use your fantasy with different veggies or serving suggestions.
Grilled summer salad
2 medium green zucchini
1 small eggplant
1 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 large red onion
2 large Portabella mushrooms
1/2 lb of snow peas
1/2 cup combined of chopped basil, parsley and tarragon
juice from half a lemon
salt and pepper
olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Bring water in large pan to broil. Rinse snow peas in water, then cut the tip of each snow pea and pull out the tough string that runs along its side. Add peas to boiling water and quickly blanch them for 30 – 40 seconds. Drain and let cool.
Preheat your grill. Clean all your vegetables and cut into about 1/2 inch thick slices – zucchini and eggplant lengthwise, bell peppers seeded and cut in half or quarters, red onion in thick slices and mushrooms caps leave whole.
Sprinkle with olive oil and grill on each side until soft. Take off the grill and let cool a little. Cut each veggies into small pieces (about the same size) and mix in a large salad bowl with blanched snow peas.
Add chopped herbs, sprinkle with a generous amount of good quality olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar, mix well and serve at the room temperature. As the warm flavors of veggies blend with aroma of herbs and oil, this is a mouthwatering experience.
For a non- vegetarian version throw a few shrimps, sprinkled with olive oil and a sea salt (devained, but unpeeled) on the grill and dress up your salad with a delicious seafood. Enjoy a light, great summer dinner.
Wine pairing suggestions:
As I added grilled shrimp to this summer salad, I opted for crisp white wine to go with it. My first choice was Californian Pacific Rim Dry Riesling. The herbs and aromas of this salad went great with this super aromatic wine. The second choice was Kris Pinot Grigio from Italy. Both wines worked really well.