June 28, 2005
Grilled Summer Vegetable Salad

marinating veggies.jpgAs you'll know if you have been following TMC for a while I love mixing zucchini, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. Oddly enough, I'm not a huge fan of ratatouille (too slimy) but I do love its components. Another thing I like doing is preparing double the amount I need when we have dinner guests. That way you can genuinely be sure no one goes away hungry and the odds are you'll have a great lunch the next day.

Today, the nanny and I had Grilled summer vegetable salad for lunch and it was even better than it tasted last night!

It was my friend Alisa (of the great photographs) who opened my eyes to the possibilities in marinating vegetables when she brought some to our barbecue. I think her mix had wine and garlic in it; for myself, I decided to take advantage of the fresh thyme on our terrace as well as sacrificing one of my home-grown lemons. (It's a little one that seems to have given up on ripening any further.) The result was delicious, much more flavorful than my usual technique of just brushing the vegetables with olive oil. I'm also pleased with the cheese I chose. Originally, I was going to use a feta but in the end a soft grey cendré goat cheese caught my eye and I'm glad it did. Creamy and tangy, it was the perfect compliment to the roasted vegetables.

Grilled Summer Salad with Goat Cheese serves 4 as a side dish with leftovers for lunch

2 medium eggplants
2 small zucchini
10 cherry tomatoes
1 sweet red pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 small lemon
1/4 cup fresh thyme
1 clove crushed garlic
pinch of salt
1/2 cup goat cheese

Slice the eggplants and zucchini in thick wedges and put them in a plastic bag with the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, garlic and salt. Seal the bag and toss well to coat. Turn the bag a few times over the next hour or several hours, depending on how much time you have.

Turn on the grill and place the zucchini and eggplant on it. Cover. In the meantime, wash, halve and seed the pepper. Turn over the vegetbales on the grill. As they finish, remove them and add the rest of the zucchini and eggplant (if they didn't all fit on the grill at once) and the peppers. Cook the peppers until the skin is blackened and the flesh is tender. Place them in a closed plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Assembling the salad: cut the cooked vegetables in bite-sized pieces and toss them with the tomatoes. Sprinkle the goat cheese, cut in small chunks, over the salad. Toss once more and taste for seasoning. You may want to add a little more olive oil: it depends on how much the vegetables have absorbed. Our weather is so hot that the goat cheese immediately started melting slightly, which gave a wet touch to the salad and I didn't really feel it needed anything else!

Posted by Meg in Sussex at June 28, 2005 9:13 AM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

I get soooo hungry reading this blog! I am obsessed with cooking and technique and style. Too bad I'm too old for culinary school!!!!

Do you have a favorite food market in Paris? Definitely want to pack picnics while there.

Posted by Lu on June 28, 2005 at 5:41 PM

I should have said "street" market. Not market as in store :)

Posted by Lu on June 28, 2005 at 5:41 PM

Lu, you are never too old for culinary school! If I don't do it before then, I'm planning on spending a good part of my retirement on cooking classes and auditing university courses. My mom recently did the University of Philadelphia's "semester at sea" - TWICE!

As for markets, they are all pretty good in my opinion. There is an organic one in the Batignolles neighborhood and also one down in the sixth. The market I know best is the one at Auteuil in the 16th: it's small but has a very good selection including a fantastic honey producer.

You can see a complete list of the markets on this site:


Happy hunting!

Posted by Meg in Paris on June 29, 2005 at 3:20 AM

Meg, you took the words "Lu, you are never too old for culinary school!" right out of my mouth. Another approach is to contact a local chef and offer to work for free. You might be suspired who will give you a shot. Start with the best restaurants in your area and work your way down the list.

Posted by chef 'em out on June 29, 2005 at 7:29 AM

I have to say that I wish I had found the courage to try an internship/stage in a good restaurant pre-baby. Here in Europe we have five weeks of holiday and it would have been easy to take time for it. But now I can't imagine spending them away from the boy. Guess it will have to wait until he hits puberty! :)

Posted by Meg in Paris on June 29, 2005 at 8:18 AM

Hi! Nope, no wine. Just really good olive oil, garlic, good chunky salt, fresh ground pepper and balsamic vinegar. Perhaps it was the balsamic that gave it the "winey" effect? The plastic bag, timing and squishing exactly the same!!!
I so wish I had a bbq at home, like I did in the US. Food and veggies in particular are so great straight from the grill. (Must check out all the rumors I've heard about laws preventing the use of bbq's on parisian balconies.)

Posted by Alisa on June 29, 2005 at 2:23 PM

Aha! You are right, it was the dark vinegar that led me astray. They were delicious!!

Posted by Meg in Paris on June 29, 2005 at 4:15 PM
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