"My Grandfather's Garden" Grilled Salad

This colorful array of grilled in-season veggies (here, Chinese long beans, tomatoes, okra, and kabocha squash) topped with a smattering of microgreens makes for a centerpiece-worthy salad. The light char on the vegetables also pairs well with other grilled dishes at your next alfresco feast. Finish by drizzling with a gingery fish sauce vinaigrette inspired by Filipino dinengdeng (a colorful vegetable dish) that pays tribute to Sheldon Simeon's Filipino heritage.

“My Grandfather’s Garden” Grilled Salad Recipe
Photo: Erin Kunkel; Styling: Melissa Padilla
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
8 serves


  • Kosher salt

  • 20 okra pods

  • 1/2 pound Chinese long beans, trimmed

  • 1 (3-lb.) kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into wedges

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (from 1-in. piece)

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil

  • 3 medium tomatoes

  • 1 cup chayote shoots and leaves (or another micro green)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper


  1. Fill a large pot with water, and season with kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with ice and water, and set aside.

  2. Cook okra in boiling water 30 seconds; remove and immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. Repeat with long beans. Add squash to boiling water, and cook until a fork can easily pierce flesh, about 6 minutes. Remove and let cool on a baking sheet about 15 minutes.

  3. Whisk together fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in peanut oil while continuing to whisk.

  4. Open bottom and top vents of a charcoal grill completely. Light a charcoal chimney starter filled with briquettes. When briquettes are covered with gray ash, pour them in an even layer on bottom grate of grill. Place tomatoes on oiled grate, and grill, turning often, until completely charred, about 10 minutes. Remove from grill. Place okra, beans, and squash on grate, and grill, turning often, until slightly charred on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Cut okra diagonally in half, cut beans into 2-inch pieces, and cut squash into cubes. Gently toss all vegetables in a large bowl; transfer to a serving plate.

  5. Roughly chop tomatoes, and place over vegetables. Spoon dressing over dish. Garnish with chayote shoots and leaves. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and finish with cracked black pepper.

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