GRILLED SUMMER VEGETABLE SALAD ON SOURDOUGH CROUTONS
Note: All the elements -- bread and vegetables grilled, dressing made -- can be done up to 2 hours ahead. The dressing should be refrigerated; the vegetables can be kept at room temperature. From "Everyday to Entertaining," by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder.
6 (1-in.) slices sourdough bread
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise in half
1 onion, cut into thick slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-in. cubes
1/2 c. pesto (homemade or prepared)
Preheat greased barbecue grill to medium-high heat.
Lightly brush both sides of bread equally with 3 tablespoons olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Grill for 1 minute per side, until toasted. Set aside.
Brush red and yellow peppers, zucchini and onion lightly with olive oil. Grill, turning occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until peppers are blackened and zucchini and onion are softened and have grill marks. Remove vegetables from grill and place peppers in a bowl, covered tightly with plastic wrap. Let steam for 5 minutes. Peel, seed and core.
Cut peppers, zucchini and onion into 1-inch pieces and place in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, add garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil.
Add dressing and tomatoes to vegetables in large bowl and gently toss to combine.
Slather one side of grilled bread slices with pesto and place on serving plates, pesto side up. Spoon vegetables on top of bread slices, making sure to spoon on any leftover juices as well.