Monday, May 23, 2011

Grilled Vegetable Salad

The other day, my dad brought me a big bag of zucchini he grew at Hurst Ranch in West Covina.

There must have been two dozen large zucchini in that bag!

But since they were freshly picked, and early in the season, the squash was super-tender even though they were large.

Time to make some grilled vegetables!

My family loves grilled vegetables.

And salad.

Mine were the kids that ordered salad when other kids were getting burgers and fries.

I always grill a lot of vegetables.


They always get eaten up.

These zucchini were big, so I cut them in half horizontally, then in thirds vertically.

I bought these crook neck squash at the market, they were smaller, so I cut them in half.

I also bought 3 large eggplant, partially peeled them, cut them into rounds about 1/2 inch thick, put them in a big bowl and soaked them in lightly salted water for about 10 minutes.

My husband's grandmother told me once that you're always supposed to soak eggplant in water before cooking them.

I bought extra so I could make some grilled eggplant sandwiches or eggplant lasagna later in the week.

I put a few tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a cookie sheet and coat a little olive oil on the vegetables, then salt and pepper them lightly.

The eggplant needs a little bit more olive oil than the squashes.

If you rub them in the oil, they'll soak up too much, so I use a brush--or my hand--to spread the oil on the eggplant.

Cook the vegetables on the grill on low heat.

Be careful they don't get burned, you want just some nice, light grill marks.

The foil package had garlic cloves, cut in half with some olive oil drizzled on them.

My in-laws stayed for dinner that night and it was the first time they had roasted garlic!

I also had a few peppers and sweet onions that I also grilled.

And romaine.

I also grilled the romaine!

A long time ago, grilled romaine salad was my favorite at the Crocodile Cafe.


The romaine just needs a light grilling.

I pile all the veggies into a bowl as they get done, then take them all inside and start to put the salad together.

A platter makes for a nice presentation.

It's also nice to do individual plates--a quarter or half romaine kept whole--but I'm cutting it up so it's easier to get family-style.

Chop the zucchini into chunks.

And sprinkle it onto the romaine.

Then the yellow squash.

And the red peppers.

It's so colorful!

Then chunks of sweet onion, etc.

You can put the garlic clove halves on the salad or take the garlic cloves out and sprinkle them onto the salad.

Since the vegetables are seasoned, they don't need much dressing.

A little bit of your favorite dressing drizzled on top is good, but so is just a little bit of lemon juice, whatever you prefer.

It's a good thing I made a lot extra because we had 7 people for dinner that night!

All I did was add some more romaine from the fridge and extra grilled vegetables for a nice main dish salad.

The grilled vegetable salad, marinated tomato salad, along with a small bowl of my money saving chicken soup was a nice, impromptu little dinner party.



Two of my dearest friends came to visit today.

We had a nice lunch together.

This is Margaret.

She is my friends' mom, but also my friend.

I remember when I was in college and she asked me to call her Margaret instead of Mrs. Takemoto.

She said she hoped that we would be friends, too, and she wouldn't simply be my friends' mother.

Margaret has been a role model for me my whole life.

I've always loved her short hair, the last few years she's been wearing it gray.

It looks nice gray.

But now she's wearing a wig, having gone through chemotherapy and now radiation.

After lunch she and her daughter Cherie talked about her wig and the comedy of adjustments that need to be made--if it's too tight, the wig will ride up and end up looking like a cap sitting on top of her head, and if it's too loose, it will be askew.

I had to laugh along with them,

But at the same time, I wanted to cry.

This is Cherie.

She and her sister Laura are my childhood friends.

We made Peanut Butter Mochi together.

Cherie is visiting her mom from Virginia, and they came to visit me, too.

They came bringing two bags of goodies from Trader Joe's!

It felt like it was Christmas--for me only!

Our time together whizzed by so fast--just like it always does when we're together--and I didn't take one photo, we were too busy chatting.

Next time.


Grilled Vegetable Salad

Serves 4

1 head romaine lettuce
1 large eggplant
2 zucchini and 2 yellow crook neck squash
2 heads garlic


red pepper, green pepper, sweet onions, mushrooms

Wash and slice vegetables into uniform thickness appropriate for grilling on the barbecue. Brush a little olive oil on the vegetables and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cut the heads of garlic in half, lightly oil and wrap in foil. Grill on the barbecue with the vegetables.

Grill vegetables on low until they're done to desired tenderness, grill romaine lightly. Coarsely chop romaine and vegetables and arrange on platter.  Serve with garlic halves, or remove garlic from its skin and mix into the salad. Serve with your favorite salad dressing on the side or with lemon wedges.


  1. Hmmmm, something is wrong! I'm a carnivore....but this salad....well, I think it looks good, think I want some. :)

    Good hearing about Margaret, good that you had a good time.

  2. Great cuisine .. love the grilled greens ..

  3. That grilled veggie salad with that garlic looks sooo good!

  4. After a weekend of pizza and binging on Safeway's petite brownie bites, this salad is just what I need!