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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Roasted Zucchini, Squash, and Fresh Vegetable Salad

We all know I'm a dessert mongol, but I love my vegetables too. This salad came together as a side dish for dinner the other night, and it turned out banging. A mix of hot and cold, a mix of textures, and a mix of flavors all blend harmoniously together to make for a side dish that doesn't really feel like being a side. It's a star. Roasted zucchini and squash come straight from the oven and get tossed with fresh tomatoes, avocado, sun dried tomatoes, cornichon pickles, and a light vinaigrette. You might question the pickles, but I'm telling you, don't. They add a sour crunch that brightens up the whole thing. And the fresh tomato/sun dried tomato combo? It's killer. You can directly taste the contrast between the juicy freshies and the rich intense flavor of the dried ones. A bite of this salad makes for a thought. Sometimes the bite starts cold, and then it gets cut with a warm tender taste of roasted squash. It'll keep your palette eager for more and more and MORE.

Roasted Zucchini, Squash, and Fresh Vegetable Salad, serves 4 as a side

1 zucchini
1 squash
2 large tomatoes
1/2 of a ripe avocado
about 8 cornichons
10 sun-dried tomatoes
olive oil
1/2 a lemon
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp balsamic glaze
garlic powder
chili powder

Recipe: Turn your oven on 450 degrees. Slice the zucchini and squash into 1/2 inch thick strips lengthwise. Leave the skin on. Drizzle some olive oil over it and put in the broiler for about 10 minutes, until tender. Then turn the broiler on and let the zucchini char a little, about 2 minutes.
MEANWHILE, roughly chop the tomatoes and avocado into 1/2 inch pieces. Dice the sun-dried tomatoes and halve the cornichons. In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, avocado, cornichons, and sun-dried tomatoes. Remove the zucchini and squash from the oven, roughly chop *Careful its hot!!* and add it to the bowl. Yes it will be warm. Dress with juice from 1/2 a lemon, the soy sauce, and the balsamic glaze. No more olive oil is needed because the zucchini and squash will emit what it was cooked with. Sprinkle generously with salt, and a touch of garlic and chili powders. Serve immediately.

gladly eating my vegetables

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