There's nothing quite like the taste of fresh, grilled vegetables. The smoky flavor enhances the natural sweetness of the vegetables and makes them irresistible. This Grilled Green Salad with Coffee Vinaigrette is a perfect dish for a refreshing meal. The salad is seasoned with a vinaigrette of Sherry vinegar, olive oil, espresso, and salt and pepper. This salad can also be served as a side dish or dinner starter.

The point isn't to use these specific veggies; choose whatever is in season and can endure being charred. The coffee dressing, which unites everything, is the magician behind this dish. Start by marinating onions, tomatillos, nopales, garlic, cheese, and ⅓ cup olive oil in a large resealable plastic bag with salt and pepper for at least one hour. Grill each of these items over medium-high heat on well-oiled grill grates until charred and tender. Arrange greens, layer chopped grilled veggies, crumbled cheese, fresh cucumbers, drizzled coffee vinaigrette, and season with salt and pepper.

What are you waiting for? Fire up the grill and give this Grilled Green Salad with Coffee Vinaigrette a try! This salad will be a hit at your next barbecue or potluck! You won't regret it.

Serves 6-8

Grilled Green Salad with Coffee Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • 4 spring onions or 8 scallions, white parts only, spring onions halved lengthwise, quartered if large
  • 4 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, quartered
  • 1 large or 2 small nopales (cactus paddles), spikes removed
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces queso fresco
  • ⅔ cup olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso
  • Vegetable oil (for the grill)
  • 3 cups torn frisée
  • 1 cup trimmed watercress
  • ½ English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro and parsley leaves with tender stems

Grilled Green Salad with Coffee Vinaigrette Directions

  1. Combine onions, tomatillos, nopales, garlic, cheese, and ⅓ cup olive oil in a large resealable plastic bag; season with salt and pepper. Seal bag, press out the air and toss to coat. Let it sit for at least 1 hour.
  2. Whisk vinegar, honey, and espresso in a medium bowl until honey and espresso are dissolved. Gradually add remaining ⅓ cup olive oil, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  3. Prepare grill for medium-high heat; lightly oil grates. (Or, heat a grill pan over medium-high.) Remove onions, tomatillos, and nopales from marinade; grill, occasionally turning, until tender and charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Remove cheese from marinade and grill, often turning, until browned on all sides, 8−10 minutes; let cool.
  5. Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces; coarsely chop cheese.
  6. Arrange greens on a platter—season with salt and pepper and drizzle with half of the vinaigrette. Top with cucumber, herbs, and grilled vegetables and cheese; drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.

Do Ahead: Vinaigrette can be made two days ahead. Cover and chill. 

Taken from

March 21, 2022 — Jason Klein