When it comes to grilling, the stars of the show are typically the proteins – burgers, chicken, fish. This grilled basil and garlic vegetable salad can upstage all those, and it’s versatile enough to be a main course or a stellar side dish.

Don’t be daunted by the list of ingredients, either. If you don’t want to include all the vegetables, no worry. If you want to double up on some of the vegetables, again, no worry. No matter what you include, the key to success are the following three guidelines:

*Cook each vegetable group separately. Some vegetables take longer to cook than others.

*Cook the vegetables in a single layer. This leads to even cooking and nice grill marks.

*Place the vegetables in the opposite direction of the grill grate. This keeps the vegetables from falling and being sacrificed to the fire gods below.

Once the vegetables are cooked, you can serve them on a platter in like groupings, drizzled with the basil-garlic vinaigrette. Or you can place the vinaigrette in a bowl, throw everybody into the pool and toss to combine.

I suggest making the entire quantity of vinaigrette. Even if you don’t use it all for the dish, it keeps nicely in the fridge and makes a nice addition to salads.


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Grilled Basil and Garlic Vegetable Salad

  • 3 red peppers, seeded and halved
  • 3 Japanese eggplants, sliced lengthwise into ½-inch thick pieces
  • 3 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into ½-inch thick pieces
  • 3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into ½-inch thick pieces
  • 4 Portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
  • 1 pound asparagus, bottom 2 inches trimmed
  • 12 scallions, trimmed at the root
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, two tablespoons reserved



Preheat the grill to 350 degrees. Prep all the ingredients and place each group into a bowl. Use the reserved two tablespoons of olive oil to lightly splash each group. Toss to distribute oil.


Combine the garlic, sherry vinegar, basil, rosemary, pepper and salt. Slowly drizzle in the remainder of the olive oil. Set aside.


Grill the vegetables for the following amount of time:

Red peppers and Japanese eggplants – four minutes per side.

Yellow squash and zucchini – three minutes per side.

Portobello mushrooms – five minutes per side. Drain mushrooms on separate plate (they will release water) and cut lengthwise into ½ inch pieces.

Asparagus – seven minutes total. Gently roll the asparagus halfway through cooking.

Scallions – two minutes total; gently roll the scallions halfway through cooking.


Arrange the vegetables on a platter in like groupings and drizzle on the vinaigrette, or place all vegetables in a bowl, drizzle on the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Nutritional information per one cup serving: 220 calories; 15 grams of fat, 54 milligrams sodium; 18 carbohydrates; 7 grams of protein.