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Grilled Potato Ratatouille Salad

2 pounds large Idaho Potatoes
1 medium eggplant
1 medium zucchini
2 medium yellow squash
4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
4 onions, peeled and halved from top to bottom
2 heads garlic (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or snipped chives (optional)

Wash and dry all vegetables except for onions. Cut potatoes into
1-inch thick lengthwise wedges. Steam wedges on a rack over boiling
water (covered) for 10 minutes to pre-cook potatoes. Remove potatoes
from steam and pat dry with paper towels. Prepare remaining
vegetables- cut eggplant lengthwise into 1-inch thick slices; cut
zucchini and yellow squash in half lengthwise; seed and quarter
green and red peppers. Place potatoes and all other vegetables on
baking sheets and brush with olive oil to prevent sticking during
grilling. Prepare grill. When grill is ready, lightly oil the
grill tray. Place eggplant, squash and mushrooms on the grill
crosswise so they don't fall through the grill tray. Place the
tomatoes and the peppers in a wire grilling basket or on a grilling
tray suitable for small foods so they don't fall through into the
grill. Place garlic heads directly on grill. With the grill lid
closed, grill all vegetables for 5 minutes. With tongs and a metal
spatula, turn the vegetables and grill the other side, with the
lid closed, for another 5-6 minutes. If all vegetables don't fit
on the grill, cook in batches. When vegetables are cooked, arrange
on a large serving platter (slice portobello mushrooms if they're
large). Halve the grilled heads of garlic crosswise, and squeeze
out the soft pulp into a small bowl. Whisk together the balsamic
vinegar and the garlic, then pour over the vegetables. If not using
garlic, just drizzle vinegar over vegetables. Sprinkle vegetables
with the fresh thyme leaves or chives, if desired. Serve salad warm
or at room temperature.


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