Sunlight streams through the window, beckoning. Long sleeves are cut short. Soup bowls are traded for salad bowls. Indoor dining gets upgraded to the patio. Spring requires salads, and it most definitely requires the grill.
Once I’m meandering through my flower beds, removing all signs of winter as best I know how, turning over the earth in the vegetable garden … the last thing I want to do is confine myself to the kitchen while my family runs around outside, inhaling the crisp air. This means all sorts of meals are converted to grill-top cooking. The outdoors become the kitchen extension once the weather is nice enough, and it is currently nice enough.
Whether I’m doing full-on vegetarian cooking or simply cooking the sides alongside the mains, salads are among my favorite non-meat dishes. I also enjoy green beans, asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, sautéed greens and more. For smaller items, simply line the grill with foil and give the foil a brush with oil to prevent sticking. You can also buy an expensive grill pan, but I think the foil does the job for far less investment.
This salad is delicious without the grilling, but a bit of char adds more character and brings new life to the mix. The grilled daikon mellows ever so slightly, and the mango becomes sweeter, more complex. The red onion loses its sharpness in much the same way you might lose your sleeves, saying goodbye as it soaks up the heat from the grill below.
A simple lime and sesame affair holds all the pieces together. My husband likes this with teriyaki chicken served alongside. I think it would be good with just about anything or simply on its own, enjoyed on the patio with a cold drink and the people you love in a space you call home.
Grilled Chopped Salad with Sesame Lime Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
- 2 tablespoons oil of your choice
- 1 small head romaine, cut in half
- 1/2 head green cabbage
- 1 daikon, sliced into thick, flat strips
- 1 red onion, sliced into thick rings
- 2 mangoes, cut into 4 halves
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 3 scallions, diced
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 cup safflower oil or grapeseed oil or other oil of your choice
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat your grill. Brush the romaine, cabbage, daikon, red onion and mangoes with the oil. Once the grill is hot, brush the grates with oil. Place the vegetables on to cook and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, turning everything but the mangoes once.
- Allow to cool slightly, and then chop the romaine, cabbage, daikon and red onion into small pieces. Toss them in a bowl with the carrots and green onions. (A few slices of daikon and red onion can be saved for garnish, if desired.)
- In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, vinegar, honey, ginger and salt. Slowly whisk in the sesame oil and safflower oil until combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Sprinkle almonds over the salad and add the mangoes. (Mangoes can be added diced or served 1 piece per person.)
Makes 4 servings.