Grilled Vegetable Salad with Olive Oil and Feta

Dry grilled vegetables chopped and tossed with extra virgin olive oil and crumbled feta. A healthy, flavourful and satisfying summer side dish.  This post is sponsored by California Olive Ranch.

Low Carb Grilled Vegetable Salad

Grilled vegetables are my crack.  Yes, yes, I’ve said the same about chocolate.  And peanut butter.  And smoked salmon.  But really, grilled vegetables make me do that happy food dance, the one where you wiggle happily in your seat because the flavours make you giddy with pleasure.  And this recipe for grilled vegetable salad was the cause of many a happy dance for me this summer.  They seems so unassuming, those veggies.  Oftentimes, they are the food you eat only because you know you are supposed to.  But grilling does something magical to them.  I swear it changes their very chemical makeup, making them infinitely delicious.  Pair them with some really great olive oil and a sprinkle of feta and you’ll be doing the happy dance too.  Get ready to shake your moneymaker, my friends.

Low Carb Grilled Vegetable Salad

Really, truly, this is a recipe I’ve been making all summer long.  I haven’t shared it with you because, well…my husband and I would eat it too fast to take photos.  But I was asked by California Olive Ranch to come up with a recipe to showcase some of their award-winning olive oils for the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle this month.  I didn’t need to come up with a whole new recipe, I knew instantly that this salad was perfect.  And I am delighted to say that, along with Janelle from Talk of Tomatoes and Erina from Shut Up and Cook, I will be showcasing the recipe in person at IFBC.  We will have three different recipes, each made with different varietals of California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil.  I have chosen to pair my happy dance salad with their Miller’s Blend, which they describe as bold and peppery.  I felt it was the perfect complement to the slightly charred flavour of grilled eggplant, zucchini and peppers.

Low Carb Grilled Vegetable Salad

This recipe is remarkably easy to make, as long as you have a grill.  I will also tell you a little secret, which may go against everything you’ve ever read about grilling veggies.  Do not, I repeat, do NOT toss them with any oil or any seasonings before grilling.  You simply place the sliced veggies on the grill and let them cook through and char just slightly.  If you want, you can salt the eggplant slices a bit ahead of time to reduce any bitterness.  But I have forgotten to do this on occasion and the salad turns out just as well.  Once cookied, you take them off the grill, chop them and then, and ONLY then, do you toss with oil and seasonings.  Somehow, this dry cooking really brings out all the wonderful veggie flavours.  And adding the oil only after the cooking really helps the true olive oil flavour shine through.

IFBC has been on my blog conference wish list for a long time.  It is run by Foodista, and I’ve heard only wonderful things about it.  The speaker line up this year is fantastic, and includes an opening keynote by Dorie Greenspan. I am sincerely looking forward to the three-day event, and was attending as it was, when Janelle invited me to be a part of the California Olive Ranch panel.  I am no olive oil expert, so I’m looking forward to learning more about olive oil tasting myself.  It’s a jam-packed conference, and I can tell you right now that I don’t expect to get much sleep.  But it’s all about food, cooking and writing, and you know how I feel about these things…dream, dream, dream.

Low Carb Grilled Vegetable Salad

 

 

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by California Olive Ranch.  All opinions, recipes and photography are my own.

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Olive Oil and Feta

Yield: 4 good-sized servings

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Olive Oil and Feta

Dry grilled veggies tossed with award-winning olive oil and feta cheese makes an incredible summer side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant*, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch strips
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup crumbled feta

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to medium.
  2. Lay sliced vegetables on grill and cook until tender and slightly charred on edges, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  3. Remove vegetables and let cool 5 minutes. Chop into ½ inch pieces and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano and toss to coat. Sprinkle with feta cheese and toss lightly.
  5. *You can salt the eggplant slices for 30 minutes beforehand to aid cooking and reduce any bitterness.

Notes

Serves 4. Each serving has 12 g of carbs and 4 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 8 g.

186 Calories; 14g Fat (66.3% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 17mg Cholesterol; 615mg Sodium.

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Comments

  1. I love your tip of not tossing the veggies in olive oil beforehand- I learned that the hard way a while ago, lol. I think the dry char makes the vegetables caramelize more. Definitely looking into this California Olive Oil, I love “peppery” oils!

  2. For a side dish to our dinner last night, I made something very similar to this! Love easy, quick Greek sides packed with flavor. This is definitely one of them!

  3. I make a variation on this salad all the time, pretty much every time I fire up the grill. I layer the veggies on a platter as they come off the grill and drizzle each layer with a homemade vinaigrette. I agree that grilling the veggies dry is the best. I always make a lot, because it’s just as good (or even better) the next day.

  4. Carolyn, this is so up my alley – grilled veggies are my favorite and you can never go wrong with feta on top!

  5. Excellent tip about dry grilling the veggies!

  6. I was looking for something to do with my eggplants and Feta is a super idea! I just HEART feta, who wouldn’t :)

  7. This was yummy! I put it on a bed of mixed greens and also topped with some chopped walnuts and the feta with oil dressing. Very tasty!

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