Thursday, August 7, 2014

Grilled Three Sisters Summer Salad

One of the best things about summer are trips to the farmer's market. There are always discoveries of produce you usually don't grow in your own garden to buy. Take for instance patty pan squash. It reminds me of a spaceship.
Patty pan or scallop squash is a tender summer squash, like zucchini or yellow squash. The scalloped flying saucer shape makes them a bit of a novelty and a little difficult to figure out how to slice, but they cook and eat much like any other summer squash. Kids are sometimes more tempted to try them, because of their fun shape. You can begin to eat them when they are only a couple of inches in diameter, making them perfect for individual servings.

Cook's notes: One medium sized squash was the perfect ingredient for this grilled vegetable salad. Three Sisters Salad is a true family affair. Corn. squash, and beans, which tradition says benefit from growing  near each other, give the salad flavors that taste great together. This flavorful side takes center stage to a grilled entree. I added rice pilaf to the dish.
The dish can stand alone with just the rice and grilled vegetables but a suggested vinaigrette dressing came with the recipe. I included it for those who want to raise the bar up a notch. It is very good. The vinaigrette dressing can be tossed with salad just before serving. 
recipe adapted from Cuisine at home August 2014 
Serves 6-8
Ingredients: 
  • 1 box of Rice A Roni Rice Pilaf
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into chunks, patted dry on a paper towel
  • 3- 4 cups green beans, trimmed
  • 1-2 patty pan squash, sliced or butternut or acorn squash
  • 4 ears of corn 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Extra Virgin Infused Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
  • good quality balsamic vinegar or chocolate balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
Directions:
  • Advance preparation: soak 4 corn cobs in their husks in water for one hour, move around in the water a few times.
  • Place a large piece of foil on a cookie sheet. Add trimmed green beans and sliced patty pan squash.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • On medium high heat transfer foil sheet to grill and cook beans and squash about 20 minutes, stir often so they don't stick to foil.
  • On grill cook corn husks along side of the other vegetables about 30 minutes. 
  • Add tomato chunks in the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
  •  While vegetables are cooking start the rice.
  • When vegetables are done remove the corn husks and shave off the cooked corn.
  • To assemble dish, place cooked rice on the bottom, add grilled vegetables and fresh basil.
Vinaigrette Dressing
Whisk together the following:
  • 2 TB. each white wine vinegar and olive oil
  • 2 TB. minced shallots
  • 1 tsp. each Dijon mustard and honey
  • 1 tsp. mixed herbs
  •  salt and pepper to taste

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