Grilled Veggie Salad

Grilled Veggie Salad with Tahini Dressing. Pic by M.C.

Grilled veggies on lettuce with tahini dressing makes a great summer salad. I was inspired to make a salad when I ate at the Lotus Café and Juice Bar in Encinitas, California. I added shiitakes, serranos, and tomatoes to make it my own. It’s a meal in itself and pairs well with chilled Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling that is gluten free and vegan friendly. The salad is so good Renaissance Man said, “This is so good, I can die happy now.” I hope my recipe translates.

1 bundle asparagus, chopped
1 eggplant, sliced
2 medium zucchini
2 bell peppers
10 shiitake mushrooms
8 serrano peppers
8 tomatoes
Oil to brush on, no oil for Ninja Foodie

2 handfuls lettuce-spring mix

1/3 c olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp. tahini
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt
1 Tbsp. agave syrup

Yield: 4 salads

I use a Ninja Foodie. But if you have a grill use a grill. Slice veggies in large pieces. For the Ninja, I suggest not brushing oil on the veggies, but do brush on oil if you are using an outdoor grill. The veggies take too long in the Ninja to grill with oil and really don’t crisp up. Brush olive oil on veggies for an outdoor grill. If you don’t have a Ninja or a grill you could roast all your veggies on a cookie sheet under the broiler of a gas oven. Either way, watch the veggies so they don’t burn. Some dark spots are okay.

I slice the eggplant so they look like circles. Having large pieces of veggies allows me to use leftovers for a grilled veggie sandwich or dice later to top on gluten free pasta. Slice zucchini in half then slice in quarter inch slices. Chop asparagus and bell pepper into bite sizes. Grill mushrooms, serranos, and tomatoes whole. Try Roma tomatoes if using an outdoor grill.

Grilling time is about 25 minutes.

After grilling, take seeds out of serrano peppers. I put on disposable gloves then slice off the top. Slice the pepper in half and cut out the seeds. Or use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Warning serranos are spicy so don’t eat them if you can’t handle hot spices.

Place two handfuls of lettuce on a plate. I use a local mix of baby oakleaf that looks like red lettuce, baby green leaf, and some kind of endive that looks like frisee or curly. My local farmer doesn’t label the bag.

Slice warm veggies. Use two slices of eggplant and four pieces of zucchini and slice smaller. Plate those in the middle of the lettuce. Scatter about eight pieces of asparagus, which is about two spears, scatter four pieces of bell pepper, two mushrooms on top, two or four tomatoes, and then the sliced serrano on the sides of the salad.

Put all ingredients for the dressing in a Mason jar and shake it up. Drizzle three tablespoons of dressing on each salad.

The first day you’ll have warm veggies on your salad. The second day you can eat cold veggies on your salad. Or rewarm veggies in toaster oven.

After we ate at good vibes Lotus Café and Juice Bar we sauntered over to the Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens. I’ll make that into a separate post. It’s a beautiful place to watch the waves quietly if you’re passing through San Diego this summer or ever since the weather is always good.

Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling is Gluten Free and Vegan Friendly. That’s a dragon on the back of the bottle. Cheers! Pic by M.C.

Happy Vegan!

Recipe from blog of

Copyright 2021 Melissa Crismon