I can't believe it's September already! This might go down on record as the fastest summer in history...gone in the blink of an eye. But before I get ahead of myself trading in tomatoes and zucchini for butternut squash, I've got a delicious grilled vegetable salad for these late summer days. Zucchini, yellow summer squash, red onions and rye berries drizzled in a tangy, flavorful sun-dried tomato vinaigrette....so easy and filling enough to be a meal in and of itself.
I am a big fan of whole grain salads like this one. Just a handful of rye berries (or barley, wheat berries or farro) brings welcome texture and heartiness that turns this otherwise side dish into an easy vegetarian main. It would also make a nice accompaniment to grilled chicken or addition to the neighborhood potluck. The choice is yours!
This recipe comes together quickly with the exception of the cooked grains. If you plan to use rye berries I definitely recommend soaking them overnight. They will cook more quickly and evenly that way. I made this a few times over the last week and tried cooking the rye berries without soaking them first and they took well over an hour to become tender. With an overnight soak it was more like 50 minutes of cooking time. If you really want to get a jump on things I would suggest making the cooked grains the day before you plan to serve the salad. They will happily wait in the refrigerator for you until you are ready to use them.
Before the season for cozy sweaters, football games and ALL things pumpkin spice begins in earnest, make the most of that late summer produce. Give this salad a try!
Grilled Summer Squash Salad with Rye Berries and Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
- 1 ¼ cups cooked rye berries see below
- 1 large red onion peeled and cut into ½ inch thick rounds
- 3 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash cut on the bias into ½ inch thick slices
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for brushing vegetables
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil plus whole basil leaves for garnish
- ¼ cup sliced almonds toasted
- Combine garlic and vinegar together in medium bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Add sun-dried tomatoes, olives and basil and combine. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette to the cooked rye berries and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat the grill. Place the onion rounds, zucchini and summer squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- When grill is heated, clean and oil the grates. Place vegetables on the grill and cook until grill marks appear and vegetables are tender, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- To assemble salads, place a few slices of summer squash on the bottom of the plate and spoon on a little vinaigrette. Follow with a spoonful of rye berries. Add a few more grilled vegetables on top. Drizzle with a little more vinaigrette. Sprinkle almonds on top, garnish with basil leaves if desired and serve.