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Mediterranean Salad Platter

Mediterranean Salad Platter
Mediterranean vegetables, cheese, various olives and anchovies come together in this easy-to-assemble dish, which is perfect for an outdoor party. When it is time to serve the salad, simply arrange the ingredients on a platter and drizzle with the dressing. The vegetables can be grilled a day in advance.

Ingredients:

  • 4 small to medium zucchini, thinly sliced
      lengthwise
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup Mediterranean-style oil-packed black olives
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black
      olives
  • 1/2 cup Mediterranean-style green olives
  • 2 Tbs. capers
  • 6 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, drained
      (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Prepare a fire in a grill. Brush the zucchini and bell peppers with the olive oil.

When the coals are hot, place the zucchini directly on the grill rack or in a grill basket on the rack, and grill until lightly golden on one side, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook until golden on the other side, about 3 minutes more. At the same time, place the bell peppers directly on the grill rack and grill, turning as needed, until the skins are evenly blackened and blistered, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Remove the zucchini and set aside. Place the peppers on a plate, cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes, then peel away the skins. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut the halves lengthwise into thin strips.

To serve, arrange the zucchini, bell peppers, tomato slices and onion slices on a platter. Top with the feta cheese, all the olives, the capers and anchovies.

To make the dressing, in a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing evenly over the salad and serve.
Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Casual Outdoor Dining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Time-Life Books, 1998).