Grilling potatoes is no easy feat. Larger potatoes I sometimes will boil first to avoid charring the outside while waiting for the middle to cook, and the smaller, new potatoes I'll cook over a two zone fire, browning them over direct heat, then moving them to the cool side of the grill to finish up. Even with practice, I often find potatoes a challenge.
Case in point, I was grilling a batch of halved new potatoes for a salad recently using the two zone method. I waited to grill them until the fire burned down to medium, but even then the spuds started to char before I could move them all over to the cool side of the grill. Luckily, the charring wasn't deep, and with the strong vinaigrette and a squeeze of lemon that dressed the salad, they didn't taste off at all. Quite the opposite actually, the light char gave the salad a unique grilled flavor that otherwise may have been lost, and all worries I had of ruining such a beautiful looking salad melted as it slowly disappeared into grateful stomachs during the meal.
Grilled New Potato and Summer Squash Salad
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks.
- 10 medium-size new potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
- 3 to 4 small yellow summer pattypan squash, cut in half
- 1 bunch of green onions or spring onions
- A big splash of olive oil
- 2 lemons, cut in half
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Clove of garlic, mashed and chopped
- A couple drops of toasted sesame oil
- Half a head of red leaf lettuce, washed and cut into bite-size pieces
Light a chimney 3/4 full of charcoal. While the fire is lighting toss the potato halves, squash, and green onions with a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Whisk together the rice vinegar, olive oil, garlic, sesame oil, and a couple pinches of salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
When charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour coals out and arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate, keeping the other side empty. Clean and oil the cooking grate. Place potato halves, squash, green onions, and lemons, cut side down, directly over the fire. Move and flip vegetables for even browning. When potatoes are browned on all sides, move to the cooler side of the grill. When squash, green onions, and lemons have browned, remove to a platter. Continue to grill potatoes, covered, until cooked through. Remove potatoes to the platter with the other vegetables.
Toss the lettuce with a splash of the dressing, and turn it out onto a large platter. Now toss the vegetables (but not the lemons) with a big splash of the dressing and arrange it on top of the lettuce sprinkled with the reserved grilled green onion segments. Garnish with the lemon and serve.