Monday, August 31, 2015

UnRecipe: Put 'Em On the Grill!

Yes, this latest post title is inspired by 90's classic, Sir Mix's "Put 'Em on the Glass," but of course this is far less boobtastic and way less sexist. Rant = Over. This sometimes joyous, sometimes way-too-flippin'-hot summer is a constant challenge when it comes to meal prep. While I admit to eating salads nearly every day, not everything can be eaten raw. Scratch that -- not everything can be ENJOYED raw. But is dinner worth heating up an already sweltering kitchen by turning on the stove? Absofreakin'-lutely NOT. Solution: Put 'Em On the Grill. (food, not boobs)

Majestic UnRecipe Grilled Salad - Photo by Wasabi Prime

This is certainly the most UnRecipe that every did UnRecipe. It's a grilled salad where literally everything was just tossed on the grill and one hoped for the best. And I mean EVERYTHING -- veggies, fruit, even cheese. And I threw in some croutons made from homemade bread during the final toss. Why? Because it was there. I should call this Mt. Everest Salad.

If you got it, grill it - Photo by Wasabi Prime
Admittedly, seasonal fruits and veggies naturally go together. They should, they're all ripening at the same time, pulling similar nutrients from the sun, soil and environment. Is that scientific? Not really, it just sounds good. But it's a fair assumption that if you've got stuff fresh and in season, with the right balance of sweet and savory items, it will all taste good together. Trust in Mother Nature. 

For example, this salad of everything cooked on a grill included: onions, slightly underripe (but firm) apricots, garlic scapes, radishes, and corn. It also had slabs of paneer cheese -- I love adding it to warm salads, it's got such a great meat-like texture, it sears beautifully, and it won't turn into a melty mess like 99.99999% other cheeses that will permanently fuse themselves to your grill. And a grilled salad like this doesn't take much prep -- kick the tires, light the grill-fires, lightly toss whatever you're grilling in some salt, pepper and vegetable oil, and let the sear happen. I tend to place the items that take longer to grill towards the back, where you get more heat -- onion chunks and thick slices of radish go there, just grill until soft -- and more delicate things like fruit, cheese, and thin scapes were towards the middle /front part. If you have one of those grill baskets, those are handy for small things, and you can cut your veggies to bite-size pieces and grill faster. I don't have one of those things, so I just threw caution to the wind, left most things whole or nearly-whole, lost a few radish halves, but everything turned out right in the end.

Weirdly wonderful combination for a summer salad - Photos by Wasabi Prime
What a colorful bunch of goodies, no? These weren't carefully chosen, they were simply what I had on hand, and what showed up in our Full Circle bag, and they were perfect. You get the sweet-tartness of the apricots, the corn is plenty sweet and has good texture once it's cut off the cob; onions, radishes and scapes get a nice caramelized char, but keep their savory flavor. Do a rough chop on everything, toss in a simple olive oil/balsamic vinegar dressing with extra pepper, and eat. Sure, I added homemade croutons made with stale ciabatta bread -- totally delicious, but totally fine to leave out. You could leave out the grilled paneer, too, but the heartiness of the cheese is nice. You could just add shaved parmesan as you're tossing the salad ingredients, that would also taste lovely.

Stop and smell the... daylilies - photo by Wasabi Prime
This is a great Meatless Monday dish and best of all, it's super-quick to prepare on the grill, and it leaves you plenty of time for important things. Like admiring flowers. And sitting in a hammock. Because you know. Important.

Don't let the lazy lounging days of summer pass you by - Photos by Wasabi Prime

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