About This Recipe
By grilling vegetables dry and then marinating them in herby, garlicky olive oil, you get all the flavor of fire with none of the flare-ups and soot from burning oil. An assortment of eggplant, summer squash, onions, and mushrooms makes a good foundation, but asparagus in season, garlic scapes, halved small white turnips, Swiss chard stems, and more all take handsomely to this treatment.
The cooking method has a lot to do with the final nutritive value of the ingredients. The good news is grilling vegetables generally preserves more vitamins and minerals than boiling or simmering. Dressed or flavored in a herby-vinegary marinade, the vegetables get a boost of antioxidants and also help promote better absorption of nutrients from the veggies.
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups (480 ml) olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) red wine or balsamic vinegar
- 1 handful (8 g) of Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 sprig rosemary, leaves stripped off the stem and chopped
- 2 sprigs oregano or thyme or both, leaves stripped off the stems
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large (780 g) eggplant
- 2 or 3 (610 g) zucchini or summer squash, or both, about 8 in / 20 cm long
- 2 or 3 (145 g) portobello mushroom caps
- 1 large (300 g) onion, cut into thick rounds
Step 1Light the grill, let the coals get good and hot, and spread them out into an even layer.
Step 2Make the marinade: Finely chop or grate the garlic. In a bowl, whisk the garlic with all the other ingredients. Whisk vigorously to combine them. Set aside.
Step 3Slice the eggplants and squash lengthwise into thin “steaks” about ¼ in (5 mm) thick. Leave the mushroom caps whole. Lightly brush the vegetables with olive oil.
Step 4Arrange the vegetables on the grill, working in batches if necessary, and leaving them undisturbed until they pick up some serious color from the fire. The squash and onion should get solid grill marks, with some coloration between the lines; the eggplant should get fully brown (not black) between the lines; and the mushrooms should get good dark lines and visibly soften. At this stage they should all be flipped and left again to color appropriately. When they’re done, remove everything from the grill and slice the mushrooms crosswise to about the thickness of the other vegetables.
Step 5Put each type of vegetable in a bowl and toss it with a generous pour of the marinade, then arrange the slices on a serving platter. Repeat this step with each of the other vegetables, then pour any remaining marinade over the arrangement. Let this sit for at least half an hour before serving, or cover the dish and put it in the fridge overnight. If you do, make sure to let the vegetables come back up to room temperature before serving them the next day. Leftover grilled vegetables make phenomenal sandwiches. Any leftover marinade should be used in vinaigrettes or pasta salads.
Try it with: Anything Italian, or whatever else you cooked on the grill.