I love the colors in the fall. Whether we're talking falling leaves, lingering garden bounty, or the spread on a plate featuring said bounty, the colors share a wide range of reds, golds, oranges, and even purple. So it likely comes as no surprise that I'd be singing the praises of a gorgeous salad featuring grilled autumn produce that will give you the season's palette on your plate!
The recipe below calls for a combination of beets, deep purple eggplant, and bright red peppers, but you can use what you have on hand. Summer or winter squash (microwave cubed winter squash in a manner similar to the beets described in the recipe), onions of all colors and sweetness, sweet and spicy peppers, every hue of beets you can find, and tender eggplant in all its forms work well in this salad. You could even micro-cook some chunks of rainbow carrots if you'd like. This really is about showcasing color and autumn produce does this so very well.
This salad/side pairs incredibly well with grilled or roasted meats, pasta and hearty sauces, or other comfort food like offerings. With our days becoming painted at the edges with chills and even frost, it's only a matter of time before we'll be embracing such foods with gusto. Why not begin with a pretty palette?
- 2-3 smallish beets, peeled & chopped into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ c. olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 T. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 small, dark purple eggplant, stem removed & chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded & chopped into bite-sized pieces
Place the beet pieces in a small, glass bowl and add a few tablespoons of water to the bottom of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 3 minutes while you combine the following six ingredients (oil through black pepper) in a small bowl.
When the beets are done in the microwave, drain any water away and set the partially cooked beets in a large bowl. Add the eggplant and pepper to the bowl; drizzle the seasoned oil mixture over the vegetables to coat; set aside.
Prepare the grill for medium-high heat cooking. Place a grill pan or sheet on the grill and add the prepared vegetables to the pan when the grill is hot. Reserve any oil mixture left in the bowl. Grill the vegetables for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Remove to the bowl with the reserved oil and toss well to coat. Serve hot, warm, or chilled.
- Yields: 6 servings
- Preparation Time: 40 minutes