Classic Grilled Veggies
Once I realized how ridiculously easy it is to grill vegetables (and how totally delicious they are), my family has been enjoying them all summer long: weíve served grilled vegetables to little kids, teens, and adults and everybody loves them. This Mediterranean-style recipe for grilled veggies is the simplest yet, and so good I wanted to share it with you all.
We also include seven luscious uses for leftover grilled veggies (if youíre lucky enough to have any–they sure donít last long at my house!) Itís all right here:
Fresh vegetables (choose any or all of the following:
whole ears of corn, husked and cleaned
green or red bell peppers, cut lengthwise in 1-inch strips
zucchini or summer squash, cut lengthwise into quarters
Portobello or other mushrooms, sliced thickly
small to medium-sized eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
good-quality olive oil
salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
1. Brush the prepared vegetables with olive oil and place in a single layer on the grill-rack over medium-high heat.
2. Cook, turning as needed, until crisp-tender and flecked with char. Remove vegetables as they reach the desired state of doneness (eggplant will take the longest to cook).
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Seven Ideas for Leftover Grilled Vegetables
1. Use chopped leftover grilled veggies as a nutritious and flavorful topping for couscous, pilaf, brown rice, or other whole grains.
2. Mix grilled veggies with salsa, cheese, and mashed cooked beans for a quick, tasty burrito.
3. Make garden salads and pasta salads really special with the addition of a few grilled vegetables.
4. Gazpacho takes on new zing with grilled veggies added in. Of you can make a delicious chilled soup by whizzing grilled veggies with broth and lemon juice in the blender.
5. Grilled veggies make a satisfying sandwich filling: try them on a baguette or on whole grain bread or rolls, with or without a slice of provolone or other cheese on top. Or you could make your own special garlic bread or bruschette by adding finely minced grilled veggies to the mashed garlic cloves.
6. Your favorite pasta sauces gain nutrition and big flavor with the addition of grilled veggies. Or simply add chopped grilled veggies along with a chopped fresh tomato and a crushed garlic clove to cooked pasta for a hearty and substantial main course.
7. To make a mouth-watering dip for pita triangles or flatbread, chop leftover grilled vegetables finely and add to a can of drained and mashed garbanzos, along with a clove of crushed garlic. Add salsa for some South of the Border flair and scoop up with taco chips.
By Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).