As 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!