The “Eat More Vegetables” Campaign: Grilled Vegetable Salad with Mozzarella and Golden Raisins

True Confessions: I’m always looking for ways to get the Grill-Meister to eat more vegetables. I like the challenge.

The latest effort was this salad with grilled vegetables and fresh mozzarella “pearls” on a bed of romaine, tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a surprise ingredient – golden raisins. It got the Grill-Meister’s Seal of Approval, a certification that is quite difficult to attain when vegetables are involved!

Here’s how to do it.

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Mozzarella and Golden Raisins

Makes 6-8 servings as a side dish, 4 as a vegetarian main course

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh zucchini, sliced in 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 fresh yellow squash, sliced in 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced longways, in about 1 1/2 inch widths
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced in 1/2 inch rounds and separated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, in all
  • 1 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup fresh mozzarella “pearls”
  • 2 cups sliced or torn romaine
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • optional garnishes: 1 green onion, thinly sliced, 1 tsp chopped parsley

Cooking Instructions

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat.  Toss the vegetables in a medium bowl with 1 TBSP of the olive oil, then grill for 3-4 minutes per side until the vegetables have nice grill marks but are still nicely al dente. Return the vegetables to the bowl and toss the with the remaining tbsp of olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, garlic and golden raisins. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and let the vegetables rest until they are room temperature, then add in the mozzarella pearls.

Distribute the romaine across an attractive serving platter, then place the grilled vegetable / mozzarella mixture on top. Add a little more pepper and garnish with the green onions and parsley.
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The Grill-Meister was amazed that he liked this, and especially amazed that it would be good at room temperature (he was expecting the grilled vegetables to be served hot as per usual). The sweetness of the golden raisins and the balsamic vinegar are a perfect foil for the earthiness of the grilled vegetables and garlic, and the crunch of the romaine alongside the creamy mozzarella pearls provides a nice textural balance. This dish is a easy stunner.

And one more thing: you can dress it up to be a main course by adding slices of grilled chicken, or if you’re going vegetarian, slices of grilled tofu or portobello mushrooms.

In pictures:

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Get nice grill marks on the vegetables
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Put the grilled vegetables back in a bowl for tossing
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Add the vinegar, oil, raisins and garlic while the vegetables are still warm
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This salad is a beautiful side dish or vegetarian main…
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…and a healthy side for a rich pasta course like the Spaghetti Carbonara we had that night

© 2018 Glover Gardens

15 thoughts on “The “Eat More Vegetables” Campaign: Grilled Vegetable Salad with Mozzarella and Golden Raisins

    1. Argh! No beets! At least not until you publish your traditional Russian recipes. I was just in the UK and couldn’t believe the ubiquity of beets there. Beetroot this and beetroot that. What in the heck? Beetroot mash? Beetroot chips? Beetroot slaw? No. No. No.

      1. How can you keep the beat if you don’t eat your beets?

        Do this.

        This is Musical Miss’ quick approach. Use a veggie scraper to remove the top skin. Slice the beets in quarters, drench them in olive oil. Add salt and black pepper. Roast them for about 30 minutes. Eat them.

        Don’t tell anybody that they are a very strong magenta dye. Wait for the fun in the morning as people are calling their doctors. Heh!

      2. See, that’s the thing about beets! They’re actually just a natural dye source that some hungry person way back when mistook for food! 🙂 But seriously, I might try that recipe. Maybe. Someday.

      3. Just wear something white. Heheheh. You can do all of that on the grill. Outside. Even toddlers love ’em. Since toddlers eat a lot with their fingers…

      4. I could have sworn that I replied. No beets, no feeling the beat. Use MM’s approach. Use a carrot peeler to clean off the surface. Slice the beets in quarters. Drench them in good olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast them for about 20 minutes.

        Man, are they good.

        And, since beet juice is a great magenta dye, you can have some laughs the next morning when your whole family starts calling the doctor. Heh.

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