Light & Fresh: Grilled Spring Vegetable & White Bean Salad
This is one of those recipes that’s hard to share. Not because it’s too good and I’m too greedy to give you the recipe, but because it is the result of adding a dash of this, a spoonful of that, and whatever veggies I had in the fridge at the time. Luckily, I have a rather keen visual memory, so this should be pretty darn close to what I came up with the other night. Besides, I’m really teaching you an important lesson: taste your food! Then adjust the seasonings to your liking. That’s how I came up with this, after all!
I spent no less than 3 hours yesterday purchasing groceries. First, it was a happened-upon produce stand where I picked up these zucchini and asparagus (along with strawberries, onions, butternut squash, scallions and lemons). Then I went off to PCC (our local natural foods market) where I had way too much fun poking through the shelves and finding new edible treasures. And then, I went to good ol’ QFC to pick up some much-needed, less-expensive basics like canned beans, couscous and spices. I won’t even tell you how much money I spent.
From all this bounty I put together one of the most delicious meals I’ve made in awhile. It was a celebration of spring, of the sun that was shining brightly. I pulled out my often-neglected cast iron grill pan and cooked my entire meal: sweet white corn on the cob, an Applegate Farm’s organic turkey hot dog, toasted pita, and some asparagus and zucchini to toss into a light and refreshing white bean salad.
Make this on a hot, sunny day. It would be perfect picnic fare. Bring the salad, grill the veggies on site outdoors, toss together and devour. As with any cold salad of this type, it only gets better the longer the flavors meld and mingle together. Make a big batch and eat it for lunch the next few days. If you can make it last that long.
Grilled Spring Vegetable and White Bean Salad
© Copyright 2011 Carly Sullivan, Tart to Heart
Serves: 3-4 as a side dish
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp stone ground mustard
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp scallions, sliced fine
- 1 tsp fresh mint, minced fine
- 1/2 tsp eachfresh rosemary, tarragon, oregano, and thyme (or whatever herbs you have on hand), minced fine
- Drizzle of honey (about 1/2 tsp)
- 2 oz feta, chopped or crumbled
- 1 15-oz can cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 oz asparagus, trimmed
- 1 small/medium zucchini, sliced
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients (oil through honey). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the feta and beans and toss gently to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator while you grill the vegetables.
- Heat your grill or indoor grill pan to medium heat. Brush the asparagus and zucchini with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides until tender (about 10 minutes). If you don’t have a grill or grill pan, roast the vegetables on a sheet tray until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces and cut the zucchini slices in half. Remove the salad from the refrigerator, add the vegetables and toss to combine. Check the seasoning again and adjust as needed.
- Serve immediately or keep covered in the refrigerator for several days. Enjoy outside with a cold beverage and sunglasses! Bare feet are strongly encouraged.