Why It Works
- Combining one grilled vegetable with a pre-mixed dressing and garnish base makes for a complete, fresh, warm salad that can be cooked on the grill while your main dish rests.
- A combination of grilled and raw vegetables gives the salad many different flavors and textures.
The great thing about this recipe is that it's not really a recipe. Think of it as a blueprint for side dishes: make a tasty dressing with some raw, crunchy veggies (or cheese!) and keep it in a bowl by the table. Grill (or broil) a secondary veggie while the meat (or vegetarian main) rests and toss it all together. Ta-da!
Need some inspiration? OK, how about grilled asparagus tossed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, shallots, mint, and little cubes of feta cheese? Or let's try grilled broccolini with pickled chili peppers, olive oil, red onions, and lemon juice. Or grilled cauliflower florets tossed with capers, olives, olive oil, and sherry vinegar.
- 1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon (15ml)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided (60ml)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 4 ounces; 110g)
- 6 to 8 small radishes, thinly sliced (about 3 ounces; 85g)
- 1 pound trimmed green beans (450g)
- Small handful minced fresh parsley leaves
In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice and mustard. Slowly drizzle in three tablespoons olive oil, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Add scallions, bell peppers, and radishes, and set aside. In a separate bowl, toss the green beans with the remaining tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
To Cook on the Grill: (See note.) Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals over half the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
Add the green beans to the grill directly over the coals, placing them perpendicular to the grill grates or using a thin-grated vegetable basket if you have one to prevent them from falling into the grates. Cook, turning occasionally, until blistered, charred, and tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Continue with Step 5.
To Cook Indoors: (See note.) Adjust rack to as close as possible to broiler and preheat broiler to high. Arrange beans in a single layer on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Broil until beans are blistered and very lightly charred, 2 to 5 minutes depending on strength of broiler. Continue with Step 5.
Transfer beans to the bowl with the dressing/scallion/radish/pepper mixture. Add parsley and toss to combine. Season the salad with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
The recipe gives instructions for cooking on a fresh fire, but it can easily be adapted to cook on the remaining fire from a larger cooking project. The fire should be hot enough to sear, so if you need to add a few more coals before throwing the beans on, do so.