Grilled Caponata Salad with Cheesy Toast

Delicious and easy way to use up all those fresh vegetables you overbought at the grocery this week! As a pseudo vegetarian, this dish is perfect. A variety of colorful, fresh vegetables char grilled served with some cheesy bread. If you need the protein, cook up some chicken, seafood or steak. The original recipe called for grilled flatbread but since I had none, I made my own grilled cheesy toast - ciabatta sliced up with olive oil, garlic and mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Grilled Caponata Salad with Cheesy Toast
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
large garlic clove, minced

Cheesy Toast:
1 Ciabatta or any good crusty bread, sliced
olive oil 

garlic clove, minced
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, shredded and grated

large eggplant, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
3 or 4 zucchini, halved lengthwise
red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
small sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
10 large sliced pitted green olives
tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
Parmesan cheese, grated

2 teaspoons capers
(the original recipe called for pine nuts and fresh mozzarella, which would have added a nice texture had I remembered)

To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Set aside.

To prepare salad, lightly coat eggplant and the next 4 ingredients with cooking spray. Arrange eggplant and zucchini on grill rack coated with cooking spray or on your panini grill like I used. Grill 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until tender and well marked. Arrange bell pepper and onion on grill rack; grill 3 minutes on each side or until well marked. My grill took forever since it was small, so I rotated the veggies between the grill and the oven set to 450 so they could roast.
First grilled, then roasted my veggie assortment!
While the veggies are cooking, slice bread and drizzle each slice with olive oil and some minced garlic. Next add some cheese and toast until cheesy is bubbly. 

Once the vegetables are grilled/roasted through, separate onion slices into rings. Cut the bell pepper into thick strips. Add onion, eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, green olives, and tomato to dressing made earlier; toss gently to combine. Arrange the vegetables on a platter. Top with basil, cheese, and capers. Serve with cheesy toast.

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