Grilled Zucchini, Bell Pepper and Goat Cheese Salad
Chef’s Note: The Fresh & Green Table (Chronicle Books, 2012), by Susie Middleton
Reprinted with permission from publisher
For the Double Tomato Dressing
- 4 Tbsp California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped, drained, olive oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 Tbsp each finely chopped fresh mint and basil leaves
- 1 tsp honey
- 1⁄2 tsp good quality black olvie tapenade
- 1⁄2 tsp minced garlic
- 1⁄4 tsp Kosher salt
- 6 oz small cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
For the salad
- 2 large red bell peppers, long preferred
- 2 large zucchini
- 1⁄3 cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 4 x 1/2-1 inch-thick Peasant Bread, oval shaped preferred
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved
- 3 cups baby arugula leaves
- 1⁄4 cup very roughly chopped fresh basil and mint leaves
- 4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled at room temperature or slightly warmed
- Double-Tomato Dressing
For the dressing
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the fresh tomatoes until well combined. Gently fold in the tomatoes. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the salad. Stir gently before serving. Makes 4 Cups
For the salad
- Heat grill to high heat. Place whole bell peppers directly on the grate and close the lid. Cook, turning every couple of minutes, until the peppers are well blistered and blackened in most places, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer peppers to a bowl and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes. Over a fine-mesh, peel the skin away from the peppers, reserving any juices. Place peppers on a cutting board and split them lengthwise for a total of eight long strips. Remove and discard the seeds, but do not rinse peppers.
- Reduce the grill to medium heat. Trim zucchini ends and cut them crosswise, about 3 to 4 in/7.5 to 10 cm long. Then cut lengthwise into strips, about ¼-in thick for a total of 16 to 20 pieces. Arrange the pieces in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and brush generously on both sides with about 2 1/2 tbsp of California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil and season with salt.
- Generously brush bread slices with the remaining California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Arrange bread and zucchini in a single layer on the grill and close lid. Grill the bread until golden brown on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Cook zucchini until well charred on the first side, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until charred, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the zucchini to a tray or plate and cover loosely with foil to retain heat. Rub the grilled bread on both sides with the cut sides of the garlic.
- Divide arugula evenly among four plates. Sprinkle about one-third of the herbs over the arugula. Place a bread slice in the center of each plate, drizzle with leftover pepper juices. Top each bread slice with two pieces of zucchini, placing them on a diagonal. Sprinkle goat cheese over the zucchini, add the roasted pepper, again placing them on a slight diagonal. Top the roasted pepper with herbs and remaining goat cheese. Top the goat cheese with two more pieces of zucchini and herbs. Top each serving with the last piece of roasted pepper. Spoon an equal amount of dressing around and over each of the “sandwiches”. Serve immediately.