Monday, July 19, 2010

Grilled potato salad

I don't mind being the vegetarian at the barbecue. There are a lot of good veggie burgers (I'm partial to the spicy black bean ones) that make for quick, easy additions to the grill that I can enjoy when everyone else is eating burgers. But grilling is a great technique, and I feel like I shouldn't always be stuck with processed patties and the occasional grilled peppers on top. Last Friday, some friends invited us over to grill burgers for dinner. They had a bean burger in the freezer already, so I was covered, but I asked them to pick up some potatoes and tomatoes for a salad I had envisioned. We didn't have quite enough charcoal, and we started late, so we didn't get everything quite grilled to perfection, but I think this salad has serious potential. It's simple, but the nice grilled flavors from the potatoes and tomatoes are awesome. I'm sure it would be good with roasted veggies too, but there's something about cooking outside in 95-degree heat that makes food taste better.

Grilled potato salad

4 large baking potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices (I made wedges, but I think slices will work better next time)
4 tomatoes, cut into four wedges each
Canola oil for greasing the grill
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
Juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, or more to taste
1 tbsp olive oil, or more to taste
Salt and pepper

Prepare the grill. Parboil the potato slices by heating up a big pot of water and boiling them until they are a bit firmer than you'd like, four minutes or so. Toss with some canola oil. Grease the grate of the grill with canola oil and place potato slices in a single layer on the grill. Cook until potatoes have nice grill marks on the grill side, then flip them over and cook on the other side. Grills vary a lot, so I won't give a time recommendation. Remove potatoes from grill, cut into bite-size chunks, and place in a large bowl.

When potatoes have finished grilling, place tomatoes on the grill, cut side touching the grate. Cook until they start to get some nice shriveling action going, then turn so the other cut side is down. When tomatoes are done, cut each wedge in half and add to the bowl with the potatoes. Add olives, lemon juice, rosemary, olive oil, and salt and pepper, all to taste. Eat warm while grilling whatever else is for dinner.

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