It’s officially summer and with the warm weather brings more time outdoors, especially picnics and barbecues. Strolling the aisles of grocery stores and farmer’s markets, the produce sections are showing much more vibrant colors as the summer fruits and vegetables are ripe and ready to eat. Whenever I see sweet white corn appear that’s when I know it’s time to fire up the grill! To take advantage of the beautiful produce now available, I wanted to create a more hearty yet healthy salad that would be perfect to serve on those warmer days with those savory barbecue feasts. My summer succotash salad features all of these yummy vegetables in one bowl!
Succotash is typically a dish consisting of corn, shell beans like lima beans, and often times bell peppers that are cooked together. I wanted to make the dish more interesting and take advantage of the most common cooking technique in the summer, grilling. The key ingredients to my summer succotash salad is fresh corn on the cobb, yellow squash, zucchini, sweet baby tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, peppery arugula and thinly sliced red onion. I omitted the beans, but garbanzo, kidney, black or even edamame beans would be a nice addition to this salad.
Grilling the corn, squash, bell peppers and eggplant gives the salad much more intense flavor than just roasting, sauteing or keeping them raw, which can be a little boring. To add some brigtness to the hearty salad, I made a fresh citrus vinaigrette. The tangy lemon and lime juice, plus adding the zest really enhanced the flavors of the vegetables. The sweetness from the grilled corn and hint of honey of the dressing balances the savory vegetables, onions and shallots in the salad. I enjoy serving this salad with my Santa Maria style tri-tip, or grilled Tequila lime chicken. If you already have your barbecue grill fired up, this is a quick and easy healthy salad to put together and serve together with your main dishes.
- 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into ½ inch strips
- 1 yellow summer squash, sliced lengthwise into ½ inch strips
- 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1 inch rounds, about 4 slices
- 1 ear of corn, hair removed, corn cleaned and husks intact
- 2 bell peppers, tops removed, seeded and cut from the top into 4 large pieces
- Extra virgin olive, for drizzling on vegetables for grilling
- Salt, as needed
- Black pepper, as needed
- 1 cup mini tomatoes, sliced in half
- ¼ cup very thinly sliced red onions
- 2 cups baby arugula, washed and dried
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Zest of 1 lemon and 2 limes
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced shallots
- 1 teaspoon minced parley
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, lightly coat the zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers and eggplant with extra virgin olive oil. Lightly season vegetables with salt and pepper.
- Heat grill to medium heat. Using a paper towel, lightly coat the grill with some olive oil to help prevent sticking during cooking.
- Add the vegetables to the grill. Cook the zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers and eggplant for 4 minutes on each side with the grill closed, 8 minutes total. The vegetables should be tender yet hold its shape. Cook the corn on all for sides with hush covering the corn kernels, 5 minutes on each side.
- Refrigerate the grilled vegetables until chilled. Cut the kernels of the cobb and transfer to a large bowl. Cut the zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers and eggplant into ½ inch pieces and add to the bowl. Add cut tomatoes and arugula to the bowl. Toss gently until just mixed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, lemon and lime juices and honey. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, continuously whisking until thicker vinaigrette is achieved (no large oil droplets seen). Add the minced shallots, parley, salt and pepper, adjusting seasoning as needed.
- Serve salad with the dressing on the side or toss with the vinaigrette.