This is a Catalan grilled vegetable salad. We ate it with Spanish grilled pork kebabs and Catalan tomato bread. It contains 3 different types of onions- yellow, leeks, & scallions- it smelled so good! After the vegetables are grilled, they are sliced and piled separately in rows on a serving plate- a lovely presentation. The vinaigrette is drizzled over the top. We ate this as a side dish but it would also be nice as a topping for grilled bread. This recipe was adapted from The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen.
Serves: 4 to 6 as a side dish
For the vegetables:
- 1 large onion (I used a Vidalia)
- 1 large or 2 small long, slender eggplants (about 1 pound) (I used Asian eggplant)
- 1 bunch leeks (the smallest, tenderest you can find)
- 1 bunch scallions
- 2 medium red bell peppers (I used 1 orange and 1 yellow)
- 4 medium ribs celery
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Vinaigrette:
- 2 T sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt, or more to taste
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish
- 3 T finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- lemon wedges, for serving, if desired
- Preheat the grill to high.
- Peel the onion, leaving the root end intact, then cut through the root into 6 or 8 wedges. Cut the eggplant on the diagonal into 1/4-inch slices. Trim the leeks of the dark greens and roots, leaving only the white portion, then cut lengthwise in half and rinse well. Blot the leeks dry with paper towels. Trim the roots off the scallions. Brush the vegetables generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- When ready to cook, arrange the vegetables, including the bell peppers and celery, on the hot grate and grill, turning with tongs, until nicely browned, about 12 minutes in all. (We put the eggplant and Vidalia onion in a grill basket.) Transfer the vegetables as they are done to a cutting board to cool.
- When cool enough to handle, cut the roots off the onion wedges and thinly slice the onions crosswise. Cut the eggplant slices into 1/4-inch slivers. Scrape any burnt skin off the peppers (if desired), then stem, seed, and thinly slice. Cut the leeks, scallions, and celery into thin crosswise slices. Arrange the vegetable slices in separate piles on plates or a platter.
- Prepare the vinaigrette. Combine the vinegar, salt, parsley, pepper, and olive oil in a mini-food processor. Add additional salt to taste. Spoon the vinaigrette over the vegetables and serve with lemon wedges.