Salad Adventures and Things to Do on the Grill

With summer vegetables at their peak, I’ve been seeing a lot of ideas for salads and garden vegetables online and in the magazines. Some just beg to be tried. I’ve always loved an old-fashioned wedge salad – an iceberg lettuce wedge topped with bleu cheese dressing and crumbles and maybe some crisp crumbled bacon. When I found a wedge salad made with either savoy cabbage or napa cabbage, I was on my way to the produce aisle!

The interesting thing about this salad, is that the cabbage wedge is grilled to tenderize it and add a little smoky char.  It only takes a couple of minutes to get some grill marks on the cabbage and you don’t want to burn it so do pay attention!

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Grilled Nappa cabbage wedge with bleu cheese dressing and crumbles, salmon with grilled lemons and grilled eggplant. Summer supper outside the kitchen.

I found a recipe for grilled eggplant with a fresh hot sauce that I’ve used as a side dish.  It’s the eggplant in the above photo. The original recipe featured “crispy eggs” on top of the eggplant which made it a vegetarian meal. I’ve included the recipe for the sauce below and a photo of the vegetarian meal.

Fresh Hot Sauce – This simple fresh hot sauce is great on squash and eggplant.

Ingredients

2 Fresno chiles, with seeds, chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Kosher salt

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon honey.

Method

Toss chiles,garlic and a large pinch of salt in a small bowl. Let sit until softened – 8 – 10 minutes. Stir vinegar and honey into the sauce.

Grilled Asian eggplant are drizzled with olive oil and turned until lightly charred and tender. Slice the eggplant and toss with chopped scallions, chopped cilantro and dill. Toss with about half the hot sauce. Transfer to a platter and top with sliced hard-fried egg that is a little crispy on the edges and drizzle with remaining hot sauce. Garnish with cilantro and trill if desired.

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Grilled eggplant with crispy fried egg and fresh hot sauce. served on a bed of greens with sliced tomato and pickled chablis peppers.

I love this hot sauce and it comes together quickly.  FYI, Fresno peppers are bright red and pointed. They are sometimes called red jalapeños but they are a different pepper.  They have a little bite, but not the heat of jalapeños.

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Fresno peppers on the left; a jalapeño on the right. Even though jalapeños turn red if left to ripen, they are not the same as the Fresnos.

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