Grilled Vegetable Salad with Italian Flat Leaf Parsley Dressing

Serves 4

Ingredients
Roasted Vegetables & Salad:
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup butternut squash peeled
  • 2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (about 1/2 head)
  • 1 1/2-2 cups broccoli florets (½-1 crown)
  •  Vegetable oil to coat the grill
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 medium red onion sliced “en pluma”
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  Sea salt to taste
  •  Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dressing:
  • 2 cups flat leaf Italian parsley or basil, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons capers drained
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  •  Sea salt to taste
  •  Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
For the Grilled or Roasted Vegetables:
  1. Wash and scrub all the vegetables very well, especially the potatoes.
  2. Peel the carrots and butternut squash.
  3. If you’re making this recipe on the grill, slice the sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, cauliflower and broccoli into one-inch thick slices and wait to cut into bite-sized pieces after they are cooked. If you are going to be roasting the vegetables in the oven, cut them into bite-sized pieces after washing and drying. Keep the sweet potatoes and carrots separate from the rest of the vegetables when you’re cutting, since they’ll require an extra step.
  4. Blanch the sweet potatoes and carrots in boiling water before grilling for just a few minutes, so they do not take a lot longer to cook than the rest of the vegetables. Plunge into an ice bath, drain well, and blot to dry with paper towels.
  5. Heat your grill on medium for about 10 minutes (if using a gas grill) or wait until the charcoal is good and hot, and has a generous coating of ash. Make sure the grill grates are clean, and brush with a light coating of oil. If you don’t have access to a grill, you can cook your vegetables in the oven instead. Preheat to 425°F.
  6. In a large bowl, drizzle the carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, and cauliflower with a few tablespoons of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then place the vegetables on the grill, or a metal baking sheet. 
  7. Cooking times can vary according to your cooking method, and how crispy or caramelized you prefer them to be. Don’t forget to turn them every once in a while so they cook evenly, and remove cooked vegetables from the grill to a covered serving dish as you continue to grill the rest. If roasting in the oven, toss the sheet about halfway through cooking to ensure that the vegetables are browned on all sides.
  8. Let the vegetables cool for a few minutes before adding to the salad, so you don’t wilt the spinach.
For the Dressing:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined. 
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If it’s too acidic, add more oil; if it’s not acidic enough, add more lemon or lime juice.
Assembling the Salad:
  1. Place the raw spinach and red onion in a large bowl. Add the cooled vegetables to the bowl.
  2. Pour the dressing on top, and add the toasted sunflower seeds. Toss and serve immediately.
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