It's no secret that the "salad" is maybe my least favorite type of dish around. Although I am able to put together a pretty mean dish from a salad bar, I am almost ALWAYS underwhelmed by salads you order at restaurants and salad recipes. Unless your ingredients are at the exact MOMENT of their most PERFECT stage/flavor/texture, I find myself bored. Then I end up dousing the stuff with dressing or add-ons, which sort of defeats the purpose. All of this is not to say that salads and those who eat them are inherently boring...it's just that I think my palette (is that the right spelling?) is too immature to fully appreciate what I'm eating.
So, when I saw this recipe in "Supermarket Vegan" for Grilled Tuscan Bread and Summer Vegetables, I was intrigued. Grilling vegetables is always great. And if the vegetables bored me, at least there would be bread.
I know it's not summer, but I learned something new a few days ago. I learned that eating vegan for one day is STILL better for the environment than eating local/seasonal for the entire week! This is not to say that people should stop TRYING to eat locally and seasonally, but I haven't purchased a banana in over 5 years, and it's my favorite fruit.
The deprivation is killing me.
In order to really get a variety in this vegetable heavy diet, I can't just eat brussel sprouts for an entire season.
Anyways, enough of that.
This was a delicious and colorful meal.
Here's where I screwed up:
-I completely forgot the onion. Just plum forgot. Still was good though.
-I mixed ALL of the oil in at once, rather than making the marinade with only 3 tablespoons of the oil. Therefore, I brushed the marinade/dressing on the vegetables rather than just olive oil. This was ok, but really, way too much olive oil. I'd half this next time.
-Couldn't wait 20 minutes to let it all blend together. Too hungry.
Despite the fact that this meal was a salad, and salads usually strike me as being easy and fast to prepare, this took awhile and was not necessarily something that was easy to whip up on a whim. All the flipping and roasting was quite intense...
Here's the recipe for Grilled Tuscan Bread Salad and Summer Vegetables Grifrom "Supermarket Vegan":
-4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (yowza that was alot...)
-2 tablespoons lemon juice
-1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
-2 large garlic cloves, 1 finely chopped, 1 peeled and cut in half
-1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-2 medium bell peppers (about 6 ounces each), preferably 1 green and 1
red, cored and seeded, and cut into 1 1/2 inch wide strips
-2 medium zucchini (about 6 ounces each), preferably 1 green and 1 yellow,
cut lengthwise into inch thick slices
-1 medium red onion (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds (I
forgot the onion and it was still good)
-6 ounces Italian bread, cut crosswise into 1 inch thick slices
-2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes (about 6 ounces each), coarsely chopped
-1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
-Italian seasoning, dried oregano, and/or crushed red pepper flakes, to
Prepare a medium-hot charcoal or gas grill, or preheat a broiler (I broiled). Position the grill rack or oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source. If broiling, lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside. Alternatively, place a stovetop grilling pan with grids over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, chopped garlic, salt and black pepper until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
Brush both sides of the bell peppers, zucchini, onion, and bread slices evenly with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil; sprinkle the vegetables lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside the bread.
Grill or broil the vegetables until browned and tender, working in batches as necessary. As a general rule, cook the bell peppers 3 to 4 minutes per side, and the zucchini and onion 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place the vegetables on a baking sheet (another baking sheet, if broiling) as they finish cooking.
When all the vegetables have been cooked, grill the bread until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Cool slightly, and then rub one or both sides with the cut sides of the halved garlic. Tear bread into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Cut the grilled vegetables into 1 inch pieces and add to the bread bowl, along with the tomatoes and basil. Add the reserved dressing, salt, and black pepper and toss well to thoroughly combine. Let stand 20 minutes. Toss well again and serve at once, with the optional seasonings (if using)passed separately.