And this healthy side is perfect for walk-up apartment dwellers for whom charcoal is not exactly an option.
The recipe is from Lodge Cast Iron Nation: Great American Cooking from Coast to Coast, a recently released cookbook that celebrates the cast iron pan as one of the most versatile kitchen tools, beloved by culinary experts like Mark Bittman and Lidia Bastianich. (It’s a healthier pan too, since its naturally non-stick surface will save you from chemical sprays and Teflon flakes.)
Grill your farmers market zucchini and peppers directly in the pan and then mix them with protein-packed quinoa.
Or if you’ve got a real grill, feel free to bring your cooking outside, just don’t brag about it, ok? (Plus, we’d like to see you sauté on those racks!)
Grilled Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 small eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and across into 1/2 inch thick half moons
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions (see kitchen note)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1. In a large bowl, toss together the onion, eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, and 1/4 cup of the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Heat a Lodge 12-inch cast iron grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Place the vegetables in a single layer in the pan. Cook, turning once or twice, until they are tender and slightly charred, 5 to 7 minutes per side.
3. Place the cooked quinoa in a medium serving bowl. Add the grilled vegetables, and toss to combine.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the cilantro as desired. Serve warm or chilled. (Kitchen Note: The quinoa can be made a day ahead; refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.)
Recipe and photo via Lodge Cast Iron Nation: Great American Cooking from Coast to Coast