Grilled Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese Croutons

Grilled Vegetable Salad
1 each medium red and yellow bell pepper
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 baby Italian eggplant
1 stalk broccoli
4 new potatoes
Olive oil
4 c. mesclun or mixed red and green lettuce

Prepare a charcoal or wood fire and let it burn down to ember or preheat the broiler. Cut the bell peppers in quarters lengthwise and discard the seeds. Slice the zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant lengthwise ¼ inch think. Blanch the broccoli and cut into florets with some stem attached. Boil the potatoes and slice ¼ inch thick.

Brush the vegetables with olive oil. Grill for 2 ½ minutes on each side or until tender-crisp and marked by the grill. Combine with ¼ cup of the vinaigrette and mix well.

Combine the mesclun with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss lightly. Spoon onto four plates and arrange the vegetables around the greens, distributing them evenly. Top each serving with a couple of croutons.

Serve with Rosemary Onion Bread, also from the Always in Season cookbook. Serves 4.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. minced red onion
1 T. honey
½ c. olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine the vinegar, onion and honey in a blender container and process until smooth. Add the olive oil gradually, processing constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Goat Cheese Croutons
8 slices French or Italian bread, ½” thick
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
8 slices goat cheese, ¼” thick
1 T. fresh thyme leaves

Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet. Toast at 350 degrees for 4 minutes or until light brown, turning once. Top each crouton with a slice of goat cheese and sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.

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