Pan-Grilled Warm Salad And Yogurt Dressing

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Serve up a warm and crunchy salad with five favorite vegetables:  romaine lettuce, yellow bell pepper, yellow onions, yellow squash and broccoli.  Top it with a garlicky yogurt dressing and lemon zest.  And you have served up a plate of deliciousness.  It is great as a meal all by itself or as a side dish to a hearty meal.

How to Start:

Fresh vegetables are washed, patted dry, peeled, sliced and coated with olive oil.  It all takes about as long as it does for the grill pan to get nice and hot.

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About 15-20 minutes on the grill pan and the vegetables are ready to be stacked on a plate.  

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The yogurt dressing is loaded with crushed garlic, giving the dressing a bit of a bite similar to the taste of mild horseradish.  Crushed coriander seeds and white balsamic vinegar adds a subtle taste for citrus and sweetness.  A splash of lemon juice brightens the yogurt dressing.  Garnish with lemon zest for added flavor and color.

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About Coriander, Yogurt and Garlic.

First, I think of myself a pretty standard cook who loves to try out new flavors in old familiar and classic recipes.  That leads me to some really exciting flavor matches.  While I have often cooked with coriander, I learned from my favorite go to food book, The Flavor Biblethat yogurt, garlic and coriander have an affinity.  And what a pleasant surprise that was when I added them to this yogurt dressing!  The other ingredients, such as lemon and white vinegar played an important supporting role.

Coriander has a wonderful citrus, nutty sweet flavor.  The seeds have a lemony taste and you can roast them to release its rich aroma and flavor even more.  I decided to use the crushed seeds to preserve the whiteness of the yogurt and also to experience the friuty sweet taste of the seeds when I crunched down on them.  

Garlic, at least to me, when added to yogurt or even mayonnaise really shows off its sharpness to resemble the flavor of horseradish.


The Recipe
Serves 1-2

Tools:  10" grill pan for one serving or approx. 19" x 10" grill pan for two servings; garlic crusher; vegetable peeler and a zester

Ingredients for Yogurt Dressing (yields 1/2 cup):

  • 1/2 cup yogurt

  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed

  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

  • Juice and zest from 1/4 fresh lemon

  • Salt to taste (optional)

Preparation for Yogurt Dressing:

Make the dressing first so that it can chill while you prepare and cook the vegetables. Mix well all ingredients in a small bowl.  Cover and chill it in the refrigerator. 

Ingredients for Salad:

  • 1 small romaine lettece head with the core attached

  • 1/2 broccolic bouquet, cut into quarters

  • 2 slices medium-size yellow onion, peeled and cut 1/4" crosswise (Vidalia onion is a nice alternative)

  • 1/2 orange (or red) bell pepper, cut down the center from the stem, seeded, ends cut off to lay flat

  • 1 small yellow squash, peeled and sliced into 1/4" thickness cut lengthwise

  • 2 Tablespoons 100% pure olive oil

Preparation for Salad Vegetables:

Place all peeled, cut and sliced vegetables in a very large bowl.  Pour olive oil over the vegetables.  Gently mix or brush to spread olive oil over each piece on both sides.  Place each piece on a medium-hot grill pan.  Cook for 10 minutes on each side until sligthly limp or wilted.  Watch carefully that the vegetables do not burn.

To serve, stack the vegetables on a plate.  Spoon yogurt dressing over the vegetables and garnish with lemon zest.  (Optional:  cut away the romaine lettuce core in the plate.  Or serve as is and cut away the core during the meal.) 



Enjoy!

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