Grilled Balsamic Vegetables
As I mentioned yesterday, it’s still summer around these parts, and we’re still eating as such. Our CSA keeps sending us summer produce, so I’ll keep on grilling, even if the rest of you are moving onto pumpkin and chili! It’s probably not surprising, given my vegetarian history, that vegetables are far and away my favorite thing to grill. That said, they’re not always the easiest. It’s pretty simple to marinate a chicken breast for a little while, toss it on the grill, flip it after 5 minutes, and continue to cook until a thermometer registers 165F. Vegetables, however, aren’t cooked to a certain temperature, and it’s really easy to overcook or undercook them, especially since different vegetables require different amounts of time on the grill. I think my favorite vegetable to grill is okra, but unfortunately we haven’t received any from the CSA this year, so for this particular dinner with friends, I went with bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, asparagus, and portobello mushrooms. Garlic scapes and green onions are also delicious, if you have some on hand! Ingredients:
- 3 bell peppers, seeded and cut into six wedges
- 2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 summer squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 6 portobello mushroom caps, gills and stems removed if you prefer (I leave mine on)
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped basil
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Brush the vegetables with the olive oil to coat. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Whisk together two tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary in a small bowl.
- Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 10 minutes for the bell peppers, 8 minutes for the mushrooms, 6 minutes for the zucchini, squash, and eggplant, and 5 minutes for the asparagus. Flip each halfway through the cooking time, but don’t move it around on the grill other than flipping. For skinny vegetables like asparagus, a fish basket makes the whole process much easier.
- Arrange the vegetables on a platter and drizzle the herb mixture on top. Serve the vegetables warm or at room temperature.