Grilled Vegetable Salad with Coffee Vinagrette - Allegro Coffee

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Coffee Vinagrette

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Coffee Vinaigrette Hero

Summer grilling season is finally here, but it doesn’t have to be all burgers and dogs. Many of us are looking to add more plant-based meals to our diet and that doesn’t mean giving up the grill. In fact, grilling vegetables is a great way to enjoy the rich, smokey concentrated flavors we seek from grilled foods, while eating our veggies too. Whether you’re looking for a vegetable-driven main dish or a fulfilling side, our coffee vinaigrette adds a depth of flavor that will satisfy all types of eaters.


Serves 6 as a side or 2 as a main dish

Coffee Vinaigrette

  • 4 TBS ground light roast coffee (such as Allegro Burundi)
  • ½ c boiling water
  • 2-2 1/2 tsp Whole Foods Market Organic Cooking Ethiopian Berbere Spice (or about half the amount of WF Ras el Hanout or Curry Powder), or to taste
  • 2 tsp date syrup (or cane syrup, or honey)
  • ½ tsp fleur de sel, or a pinch less fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)

Place the coffee in a French press and add the water. Steep for 5 minutes. In the meantime, toast the Ethiopian Berbere in a small dry saucepan until fragrant. Add the coffee and date syrup. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half, for a yield of ¼ cup. Cool. Whisk in the mustard and then the avocado oil, slowly, to make the vinaigrette.

Vegetable Marinade

  • 2-3 cloves peeled garlic
  • ½ tsp fleur de sel, or a pinch less fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp medium grind black pepper
  • ¼ c neutral flavored oil

Process the garlic, salt, and pepper in a mini food processor to puree the garlic. Add the oil and process to incorporate the oil.

Grilling Vegetables

  • ¼ pound sugar snap peas
  • ½ pound mushrooms of choice (I like oyster or maitake, creminis would also work well)
  • 1 bunch thick green asparagus, bottoms trimmed 2” and the remaining 1/3 bottoms peeled
  • 1 bunch radishes, trimmed tops and bottoms
  • ½ head escarole (cut lengthwise through the connected base – don’t trim to keep as intact as possible)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Bamboo skewers (or use a grill basket)

Soak the skewers in water ½ an hour before grilling, if using.

Marinate all grilling vegetable in the marinade 1-4 hours, except for the escarole. Skewer each type of vegetable, except for the escarole. Use 2 skewers on both ends of the asparagus to facilitate turning on the grill. When ready to grill, pass the escarole on both sides through the remaining marinade. Sprinkle the sugar on the cut side to soften any bitterness and help caramelize.

Heat the grill to very hot. Oil the grates. Grill the veggie skewers until lightly charred and crisp-tender – the radishes will take the longest time. Remove from the grill as done to desired doneness. When all the skewers have been grilled, place the cut side of the escarole on the grill, and grill to color. Turn and color as well. Do not let over-wilt. Remove the vegetable from the skewers and rough chop the escarole.

To plate

  • ½ pint baby heirloom tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs avocado oil
  • 1 bunch watercress, rinsed and dried, tough bottoms removed
  • ¼ cup roasted salted pistachios

Toss the tomatoes and avocado with salt and pepper, as well as the 1 tbs avocado oil. Place the watercress on a large platter and arrange the different vegetables on the platter as desired. Top with the tomatoes and avocado. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad to season all components. You may have a little left over – don’t drown the salad. Sprinkle with the pistachios and serve at room temperature.

– Recipe compliments of Simone Cormier, National Spice Coordinator for Allegro Coffee.


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