Serves 4 to 6
This is a version of a salad I had in Sicily at a friend’s house. The original is a combination of boiled, roasted, and raw vegetables. We set this one up for summer by doing it on the grill.
Grilling vegetables caramelizes them and brings out their sweetness. Cut no more than 1/2-inch thick so that they will cook completely before they get too dark. Softer vegetables like zucchini, onions, and peppers can go straight onto the hot grill. More firm vegetables like potatoes or other root vegetables should be parboiled first or started in a foil pack to steam them, as we do here. If you’re grilling outside, keep one side of the grill on low and one on medium or high, so you can move the vegetables around as needed, to keep them from burning before they’re fully cooked.
- 1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rings
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sides cut off into 4 planks
- 1 orange bell pepper, sides cut off into 4 planks
- 1 medium Italian eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup pitted oil-cured olives, halved
- 3 tablespoons drained capers
- 2 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 large head red-leaf lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces, washed and spun dry
Preheat an outdoor grill with one side on low and one on medium high. Mound the potatoes on a 18-by-18-inch double thickness of aluminum foil and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Spread the potatoes in a layer 2 or 3 potatoes deep. Fold the foil over to make a package and enclose the potatoes. Place on the hotter side of the grill and cook, turning the package every 5 minutes, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and open the package to let the potatoes cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
Spread out the onion rings, both bell peppers, and eggplant on a baking sheet. Brush generously with about 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add to the hot side of the grill, in batches if needed, and char on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. If the vegetables are charring too quickly, move to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking. Remove all of the cooked vegetables to a clean cutting board to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Separate the onions into rings, cut the peppers and eggplant into chunks or strips.
Scrape cooked vegetables into a serving bowl along with their juices. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and the vinegar. Add the olives and capers and toss well. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Add the tomatoes and lettuce, toss once more, and serve.