Groovy Grilling: Greens, Beans and Crucifers
Grilling just got a little more greener -- as in leafy, podded and cruciferous. That's right; break out the barbie and grill up some salad, y'all. This season has seen the most interesting choices for the grill, including hearty greens such as broccoli raab and Swiss chard, bitter members of the chicory family, bean pods, cabbage and --- what the heck -- romaine lettuce.
I love roasted radicchio with blue cheese and walnuts; why wouldn't I love it grilled with shavings of sharp pecorino? Its fairer-skinned cousin, the very elegant endive, is also getting grill marks, which I think would be gorgeous with drizzled honey and chopped walnuts.
Grilled cole slaw? You betcha. Last month's issue of Gourmet gives the old school picnic salad a new lease on life, zipped up with an aromatic tarragon vinaigrette and plenty of mustard. I love the addition of grilled scallions for extra smokiness.
Wacky yet brilliant is this clever idea for fava beans, which are grilled whole and simply seasoned with salt and olive oil. I wonder if it would be worth exploring other peas still in the pod, such as edamame, or -- hey! -- what about okra, yet another kind of pod?
Last, but certainly not least, check out this Caesar salad face lift, thanks to a quick stint over the coals. To keep charring to a minimum and smokiness to a maximum, slice the romaine into fourths lengthwise, keeping the root intact. Brush the cut side with about half of your Caesar-y vinaigrette minus the eggs and cheese and then whisk all of the dressing fixins together for a final brush-on after the lettuce is off the heat. Grill those baguette croutons, too!
And pretty please, add your groovy grilling ideas to the charcoal pile below.
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