To continue with the squash theme, and to take advantage of the slightly cooler weather we are having, I thought I would add one of my favorite appetizers, Grilled Vegetable Antipasti, plus the closely related Grilled Vegetable Pasta. This is so good (and pretty) I have two pictures!
This is from this year, at the book club get together in Munds park.
And this is from a couple of years ago, from a party at a friends in Co Springs.
Please just use these recipes as a guide. You can cut the vegetables thinner or thicker (just adjust cooking time), simplify the coating… just olive oil and salt is good, or just use one or two vegetables if there are only one or two of you.
Grilled Vegetable Antipasti
Marinade:½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ pound eggplant, cut into 1 cm (something between ¼ and ½ inch) slices
½ pound zucchini, cut into 1 cm slices (on diagonal if med or larger, lengthwise if small)
½ pound yellow squash, cut into 1 cm slices
1 medium red onion, sliced into 1 cm slices – stick toothpick through to keep intact
1 yellow or red bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise
½ cup coarsely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
½ cup toasted pine nuts
Basil leaves (and flowers if you have them)
Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add vegetables and toss to coat. Let marinate for 1 – 2 hours.
Preheat grill to medium or high heat. Place vegetables on the grill (in batches if necessary). Grill until marked and starting to soften, generally 2 – 5 minutes per side depending on grill temperature. Removed with tongs and arrange on a platter, let cool slightly. Add cheese, pine nuts, olives, basil, and/or anything else that seems good.
Optional: brush thin diagonal slices of the French bread with olive oil and grill until lightly toasted, about 1 minute per side.
Grilled Vegetable Pasta
Veggies (use as a guide only!):¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Fresh or dry herbs, salt, pepper
2 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally about ½ inch thick
1 small eggplant, sliced lengthwise in ½ inch slices
1 red or mild yellow onion, cut in 2 large slices and skewered
2 red bell peppers, whole
1 ear corn, silk removed and husk replaced
1 head of garlic, top cut off
And/or: Mushrooms, Asparagus
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup fresh basil (or other herbs)
½ pound chunky pasta, cooked
Save about ½ cup pasta water
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
For Grilled Veggies: Mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix with vegetables (can do earlier in the day). Drizzle garlic with oil and partially wrap in foil. On grill heated to medium, put in some wood chips and with several branches of rosemary. Put all the vegetables on the grill. The corn will cook quickest, maybe 10 minutes. Cook remaining veggies until soft and browned, 15 - 20 minutes. Turn every 5-10 minutes. The bell pepper skin will be black. Remove pieces from grill as they get done and let cool.
Dice the squash, eggplant, and onion. Peel bell pepper and dice. Cut corn from cob. Put in a large bowl. Put in several cloves of roasted garlic (cut in half if large), use remainder for snacking. Add the cooked and drained pasta. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a bit more salt and pepper to taste, chopped fresh basil, enough pasta water and/or white wine to moisten (about ½ cup total). Serve with about 1 tablespoon each goat cheese crumbles and toasted pine nuts on each serving.