On Tuesday I mentioned how I’m going into freak-out mode over the fact that summer is almost over. More specifically, I’m freaking out because I feel like I haven’t fully taken advantage of the availability of cheap, seasonal produce. Must! Eat! More! Veggies!
Sometimes I feel like recipes get in the way when I’m shopping at the farmers market, so I decided to throw caution to the wind last weekend and buy all the freaky weird vegetables that I usually pass by. You know, the ones you see and think to yourself, “Well, that’s really cool, but what would I do with it?” I found cherry tomatoes that look like tiny Romas and baby eggplant and papaya squash. Papaya squash! Where can you get that besides the farmers market?
Once I got home with shopping bags full of the weirdest vegetables I could find, I had to figure out what to do with them all. I’ve been working on a recipe involving grilled vegetables and polenta for a while and I could never get it right. It was always so close to greatness, but something would be off about it. First the polenta was bland; then it was too thick. Then the polenta was perfect and the veggies weren’t. So I thought I’d revisit this recipe and switch things up a little bit by making it a grilled veggie salad, served with basil Parmesan polenta on the side. Finally, I got the recipe right. Finally!
In general, I’m not a big salad eater. People are always shocked at that. “You don’t eat salad? Well, what do you eat then?” (Because vegetarians subsist on salads alone. Didn’t you know?) This is the kind of salad I like–it’s a meal salad, but it’s not heavy. And it’s a great summer dinner because not only is it both light and filling, but you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. So go buy yourself some crazy looking zucchini or a rainbow of cherry tomatoes and make this salad!
Fresh greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette are topped with herb-marinated grilled veggies and homemade polenta. This salad manages to be both light and filling!
Prep time includes time for polenta to solidify and veggies to marinate–it’s not all active time!
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