For the first trial run on my new Char-Broil stainless grill I went with something I don’t cook everyday and a fabulous Spring grilling dish. Shish kabobs! The combination of beef and vegetables is absolute perfection.
I love shish kabobs but I have to admit, one of my favorite parts of the kabobs is the grilled peppers. The smokiness of the grilling brings out the sweetness of the tender peppers. Add the amazing flavor of grilled red onion along with a generous drizzle of grilled lemon and oil and you have the fantastic starting of what will be a spectacular grilled vegetable salad. Enjoy with some lightly toasted crusty bread & some wonderful wine it is an amazing anytime meal.
There are a few ways to grill vegetables.
You can cut them all into similar sizes and put them all on skewers. I prefer metal ones as they don’t burn and come in large sizes so you need fewer to grill more! You can use wood ones as well, just be sure to soak them in water for up to an hour before you plan on grilling. It will not completely prevent the ends from burning but it does slow down the process.
Another option is a grill basket. This can be used to grill smaller vegetables, to save on time or to just make the grilling of vegetables a bit easier when you are working with a full BBQ. Or you can cook your veggies directly on the grates of the BBQ. All they need is a light drizzle of oil before being placed on the BBQ.
The grates on my BBQ are nice and close together to I could put the peppers right on the grilling surface. I did place the Brussel sprouts in a wok shaped grill basket just to catch any of the leaves that fell off while cooking.
To give this grilled vegetable salad an extra layer of flavor I added roasted garlic to the mix in addition to the bacon grilled lemon vinaigrette.
To prepare the garlic all you need is 3 full heads of garlic, a generous drizzle of oil, salt and pepper and a good sized piece of aluminum foil to wrap up the garlic.
- Trim the tops of the garlic off, leaving the heads in tack. You just want to expose the raw garlic so that the oil can get down inside the bulbs.
- Place the trimmed heads of garlic in the center of the foil and give it a generous drizzle of oil. I used canola oil because of the high heat I’m using for the grilled vegetables.
- Season the heads of garlic with salt & pepper then wrap tightly.
- Place on the top rack of your BBQ then prep all your other vegetables.
- The garlic will take about 40 minutes to be perfectly roasted.
Wash and trim all the vegetables you choose for in your salad. I used baby sweet peppers, zucchini, red onion and Brussels sprouts, with fresh cherry tomatoes stirred in just before serving.
Feel free to use any vegetables you enjoy. I also grilled a lemon to juice in the vinaigrette.
You’ll also need 5 slices of bacon, chopped and fried until crisp. You can do this on your BBQs side burner as the garlic is roasting. Once the bacon is cooked set it aside and pour the drippings into a small saucepan.
Now you are ready to grill your vegetables.
Place them all in a large bowl or in your grill basket and give them a light coating of oil. Have your BBQ on a medium high heat and use tongs place the veggies on the grill.
That amazing aroma you smell is the garlic roasting! You can take a peak at the garlic; it will have a nice caramelized appearance when it is done. Put it to the side while you finish grilling the vegetables and let it cool.
Place some pieces of crusty bread on the grill to toast lightly as you make your salad. I used a large loaf just torn into nice rustic wedges.
To make the vinaigrette:
- Place the pot with the bacon drippings over low heat on the side burner.
- Take the grilled lemon wedges and squeeze the juice into the drippings. Stir well to combine.
- Take the heads of the roasted garlic and squeeze the bulbs into the pot. Be sure to pour any of the oil remaining in the package into the pot as well.
- Using a fork, mash up the garlic.
- Now pour all that bacon garlic goodness into the grill basket and top with all the grilled vegetable.
- Remove from heat and stir in a handful of cherry tomatoes. The heat from the grilled vegetables will bring out amazing juiciness of the tomatoes.
- Sprinkle the bacon on top.
Serve with your lightly toasted crusty bread and nice chilled white wine.
Be sure to see all the cool BBQ hints tips & recipes the #thelifeisbetterbbqed team have created! We have had a fantastic time putting this all together for you! Next week I’ll be talking about my Mother’s Day menu, all grilled, including dessert!