These colorful vegetables, branded with grill marks, make a wonderful side dish or even a first course. Be creative and select other fresh vegetables for grilling. Or you can use this technique to cook just one of the vegetables listed here. You can also omit the Summer Vinaigrette and simply drizzle the vegetables with fresh lime or lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. A loaf of country French or olive bread makes a nice addition. A stunning salad can be created by chopping all of the grilled vegetables and combining them with grilled chicken, shrimp, or scallops.
- 2 red sweet peppers
- 2 yellow sweet peppers
- 4 medium zucchini
- 4 medium Japanese eggplants
- Olive oil nonstick cooking spray
- 6 plum Roma tomatoes, halved crosswise
- 12 asparagus, tough ends trimmed and spears peeled
- ½ cup Summer Vinaigrette
- Finely chopped mixed fresh herbs
1. Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat grilling.
2. Place the peppers on the grill about 3 inches from the fire and grill, turning once with tongs, until the skin is blistered and slightly charred on all sides. Never pierce the pepper or the juices will escape. Put the peppers in a brown paper bag, close it tightly, and let stand for 10 minutes.
3. Remove the peppers from the bag, drain the peppers, and peel away the skins. Make a slit in each pepper, open it up flat, and remove the core, stem, seeds, and ribs. Cut lengthwise with a sharp knife or a pizza cutter into ½-inch-wide strips. Place on a serving platter.
4. Trim the stems off the zucchini and eggplants and cut them lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices. Spray the eggplant and zucchini slices with olive oil and grill on each side until the vegetables have grill marks and are beginning to feel soft, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a serving platter.
5. Repeat with the tomatoes, grilling them about 3 minutes on each side. Grill the asparagus, turning to cook evenly, for about 5 minutes total grilling time.
6. Arrange the vegetables on the platter in an attractive design. Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate until chilled.
7. Just before serving, drizzle the vegetables with the Summer Vinaigrette and garnish with the herbs.