Charred Vegetable SaladPreface

Although you can successfully prepare this colorful end-of-summer salad on a gas grill, charcoal will imbue the vegetables with extra flavor. You can easily substitute white wine vinegar for the champagne vinegar without compromising the flavor of the Charred Vegetable Salad.

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded $
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into (1/2-inch-thick) slices (about 2 medium)
1 sweet onion, cut into 8 wedges $
1 pint cherry tomatoes $
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

Cooking spray

1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar $
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ounce oil-cured olives (about 12), pitted and halved $
1/4 cup fresh small basil leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

Preparation

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

2. Combine first 4 ingredients, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place bell peppers, skin sides down, and onion on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes. Turn onion; add eggplant to grill. Remove bell peppers. Place bell peppers in a zip-top bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Grill eggplant and onion 5 minutes; remove onion. Turn eggplant; grill 5 minutes. Remove eggplant. Add tomatoes to a grill basket; grill 5 minutes. Remove bell peppers from bag. Peel and discard skins; slice lengthwise.

3. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and sugar. Slowly add 2 tablespoons oil, stirring with a whisk. Combine vegetables, dressing, garlic, and olives. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, basil, and chives.

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