Although you can successfully prepare this colorful end-of-summer salad on a gas grill, charcoal will imbue the vegetables with extra flavor. You can easily substitute white wine vinegar for the champagne vinegar without compromising the flavor of the dish.
1 ounce oil-cured olives (about 12), pitted and halved
1/4 cup fresh small basil leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
How to Make It
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Combine first 4 ingredients, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place bell peppers, skin sides down, and onion on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes. Turn onion; add eggplant to grill. Remove bell peppers. Place bell peppers in a zip-top bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Grill eggplant and onion 5 minutes; remove onion. Turn eggplant; grill 5 minutes. Remove eggplant. Add tomatoes to a grill basket; grill 5 minutes. Remove bell peppers from bag. Peel and discard skins; slice lengthwise.
Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and sugar. Slowly add 2 tablespoons oil, stirring with a whisk. Combine vegetables, dressing, garlic, and olives. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, basil, and chives.
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This is a GREAT recipe that can be easily varied to meet what you have on hand. I used zucchini instead of one of the peppers and green instead of red pepper. I didn't grill the cherry tomatoes, just cut them in half. The dressing is just enough to really make this delicious without overwhelming it. You really want to use the salt and pepper liberally.
This was fantastic! The charred flavor was great. We turned it into a pasta by adding a small amount of whole wheat penne and feta cheese. We also chopped the vegetables once they were grilled and roasted roma tomatoes (because that's what we had on hand). I didn't have champagne vinegar so I used red wine vinegar and it was fine. It was a bit time consuming but well worth it. Next time I might just roast the peppers, onions, and tomatoes in the oven to save time and grill the eggplant for the charred flavor.
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