Here is a fantastic idea recommended to me by my foodie friend, JoLene. She is the most amazing artist, gardener, and cook. I have only known her a short time, yet I laugh at the number of interests we have in common. I had come to her asking for ideas on a grilled vegetable salad for the summer, and she told me how she likes to broil hers.
I love roasted vegetables, but I usually don’t have enough time. JoLene’s idea of broiling is a perfect substitute, and takes a fraction of the time. This is delicious warm, at room temperature, or even cold. You can either call it a cooked salad, or a ragout. In the picture, I used it to top a bowl of creamy polenta. It is also the same sauce I used on my homemade pasta I made last week.
You can really use any summer vegetables you want. JoLene suggested I use asparagus, but the bundles of asparagus at the grocery store was looking sad, so I left them out.
Broiled Summer Salad
½ pound mushrooms, chopped in half or in quarters
1 orange or yellow bell pepper cut in 1 inch pieces
1 large zucchini, chopped in 1 inch pieces
2 large fresh tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 cup cherry tomatoes
5-6 garlic cloves, skin on
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 large bunch basil leaves
1. Place oven rack one-third or one half of the way down in the oven. Preheat to the broil setting*. Toss vegetables with oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
2. Broil vegetables for 10 minutes. If after the 10 minutes, they are clearly done, remove from oven. If they could use a few more minutes, turn vegetables over with a spatula and broil for 5 minutes more. Watch it carefully to ensure it does not burn.
3. Toss with basil leaves, a splash of Balsamic vinegar, and top with shavings of Parmesan cheese.
*Boilers vary. As with any broiler recipe, you will need to adapt rack placement and cooking time to your own oven to ensure safety and success.