Aug 15, 2012

Grill It!

If you think your barbecue use is limited to hot dogs and burgers—think again! One of our favorite grilled dishes is the grilled salad. Adding grilled beef, chicken or vegetables to your favorite salads will take them from standard, everyday fare to outstanding showstoppers. All I requires if a bit of advance planning and organization. Before beginning your barbecue, have all the ingredients for the salads prepped and ready. Have the dressing prepared in a separate container. That way, once the grilling is done, all you will need to do is slice and toss with the rest of the ingredients.
Here are some favorites for you to try:

Grilled Steak Salad with Chimichurri Dressing

1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 pound flank steak or skirt steak
2 hearts of romaine, shredded or 1 bag of checked lettuce
1 large yellow bell pepper, quartered
1 medium onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick

Puree parsley, 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a blender. Pat 1 tablespoon of the mixture on each side of steak. Put the steak on a plate, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. Add 3 tablespoons oil to the herb mixture remaining in the blender; pulse to blend. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate if not using right away. Twenty minutes before you are ready to grill, preheat grill to medium-high. Brush bell pepper and onion with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle the steak with remaining salt. Let the dressing come to room temperature if necessary while you grill.

Oil the grill rack. Put everything on the grill, placing the steak on the hottest part. Grill the steak, turning once, until desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes per side for medium. Grill the pepper and onion, turning occasionally, until charred and tender, about 10 minutes total. Let the steak rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes then thinly slice against the grain. Slice the pepper and onion. Place the lettuce, steak, pepper and onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with the reserved dressing.

Tip: Oiling a grill rack before you grill foods helps ensure that the food won’t stick. Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. Never use cooking spray on a hot grill.
This salad can also be prepared successfully on a grill pan.

Honey Mustard Steak Salad

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light olive oil
honey mustard steak salad¼ cup spicy brown mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 medium onions (preferably 1 red and 1 sweet Vidalia), cut into 1/4-inch-wide wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
1 carrot, shredded
4 red radishes, sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
6-8 ounces baby greens or romaine lettuce

Make dressing:
Whisk together honey, olive oil, mustard and salt; set aside.
Grill onions and steak:
Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over moderately high heat.
Toss onions with 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle with remaining  teaspoon pepper.
Oil grill rack, then grill steak, covered, turning over once, 10 to 12 minutes for medium. Transfer to a
cutting board and let stand while onions cook.
Grill onions over medium heat, turning occasionally, until charred and tender, 12-15 minutes.
Slice steak across the grain. Toss greens, carrots, radishes and cucumbers in a large bowl. Top with  onions and slices of steak. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Grilled Cobb Salad

Cobb salad is a composed salad made of a variety of ingredients laid out in rows of alternating color. It’s both attractive and tasty. You can be creative and add rows of your own favorites like chickpeas or sliced hearts of palm.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 slices pastrami
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs, hard boiled
3 hearts romaine lettuce
2 lemons, juiced
2 ripe avocados, peeled and diced
2 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 red onion, chopped

Heat grill to medium high heat. Coat chicken breasts with 2 teaspoons oil, salt and pepper. Grill chicken
6 to 7 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes. Grill pastrami until it’s slightly
crispy. Remove from the grill and shred into bite-sized pieces.
Peel and cube hard boiled eggs.
Chop 3 hearts of romaine lettuce and place in a large serving platter or salad bowl. Dress chopped
lettuce with the juice of 1 1/2 lemons. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over lettuce.
Season lettuce with salt and pepper, to taste.
Toss diced avocados with the remaining lemon juice, to stop them from browning. Cut chicken into bite-
sized cubes.
To serve, arrange rows of chopped chicken, chopped hard-boiled egg, diced avocado, diced tomato,
chopped red onion and shredded pastrami on top of dressed romaine on the platter.

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