Grilled Vegetable Salad With Lemon & Mustard Dressing

This salad is a real combination of Italy and the UK. The grilled vegetables and artichokes, which are eaten almost daily in the south of Italy, mixed with avocado, honey and mustard are a perfect match. This really is a meal in itself, but you could add tuna, or feta or goat’s cheese, or even pieces of cooked chicken if you prefer. If you’re preparing this in advance, don’t add the avocado, dressing or lemon until ready to serve, or it will discolour the salad.

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Serves
Serves 2 as a light lunch or 4 as a side
Total Time
45 Minutes
Ingredients
1 little gem lettuce
2 courgettes, 1cm trimmed off each end, halved horizontally, then finely sliced lengthways
1 red pepper, deseeded & cut into 3
2 tbsp of olive oil
280g of chargrilled artichokes in oil, sliced, oil reserved
10 mint leaves, finely sliced
1 tsp of grainy mustard
2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
1.5 tsp of runny honey
1 large avocado
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Method
Step 1
Pre-heat the oven grill.
Step 2
Separate the leaves from the lettuce, roughly tear them in half and place on a serving platter, creating a bed. Set aside.
Step 3
Cover a large baking sheet with foil. Place the courgette slices on the sheet. Put the pepper pieces, skin side up, on the same sheet if you have room (if not, grill the vegetables in two batches). Brush the pepper and courgettes with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Turn the courgettes over and brush with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle over a small pinch of salt and pepper. Place under the grill for 7 minutes.
Step 4
Remove from the grill, turn over the courgettes and grill for a further 5 minutes, until the courgettes are golden and the peppers are black.
Step 5
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the peppers into a small bowl. Cover with clingfilm and set aside, allowing to cool. Place the courgettes on top of the prepared lettuce leaves.
Step 6
Pour the artichokes and their oil into a bowl. Remove the artichokes and scatter them over the courgettes and lettuce. Once the pepper has cooled, peel off and discard the skin, finely slice and add to the salad.
Step 7
Sprinkle half the mint leaves into the bowl of artichoke oil. Add the mustard, vinegar and honey and mix well. Peel and pit the avocado and finely slice. Place into the bowl and gently toss together.
Step 8
When ready to serve, place the avocado slices on top of the salad, drizzle over the dressing and the lemon juice and sprinkle over the remaining mint.
Step 9
Season with 4-5 twists of pepper and serve with some simple toasted ciabatta bread, rubbed with a garlic clove.

Extracted from Gino’s Italy: Just Like Mamma Used To Make by Gino D’Acampo (published by Bloomsbury) on 15th September £25.

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