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Mario Batali’s Vegetable Salad – Capri Style

Serves 6

 

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Colman’s dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 small Asian or Italian eggplants
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • 12 baby zucchini with flowers or 4 small zucchini
  • 2 medium red onions
  • 6 scallions
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (thin slivers)

Preparation

Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, oregano, cumin, mustard, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and orange juice (reserve the zest for garnish). Set aside.

Cut the eggplant into ½-inch-thick slices. Cut the peppers into quarters and remove the cores and seeds. If using baby zucchini, cut them lengthwise in half. If using small zucchini, cut lengthwise into ¼- inch-thick slices (discard the first and last slice from each). Cut the onions into 6 or 8 wedges each. Trim the scallions.

Place the vegetables on two large baking sheets. Brush lightly with some of the red wine vinegar marinade and season lightly with salt. Place on the grill over medium-high to high heat (you will probably have to cook the vegetables in batches) and cook, turning once or twice, until tender and slightly charred on both sides: the eggplant will take about 8 to 10 minutes, the peppers 10 to 12 minutes, the zucchini 6 to 8 minutes, and the onions and scallions 4 to 6 minutes. Remove each vegetable from the grill as it is done and return to the baking sheets. Cut the peppers crosswise in half. Arrange the vegetables decoratively on a large serving platter and drizzle with the remaining marinade. Sprinkle with the orange zest and basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.