Cooking out? Don't forget to toss some vegetables in with your other grilled goodies! Here are some delicious recipes to give you some ideas...
A Rainbow of Grilled Peppers
2 each red, yellow and orange bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon (drained) large capers
1-tablespoon whole fresh oregano leaves*
8 slices peasant bread, toasted
To roast the peppers: Cut off the stems, then cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Core, seed and carefully trim off all of the inner white connective tissue. Lay the pepper halves skin-side up in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil about three inches from the heat until the skin chars to a black color, 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove the peppers from the broiler and place them in a paper or plastic bag; seal tightly and let the peppers steam inside the bag for about 15 minutes. Then slip off the charred skins and proceed with the recipe. Arrange the peppers decoratively on a platter. Drizzle with the oil; season with salt and pepper.
Place garlic slivers attractively around the peppers. Scatter with the capers and sprinkle generously with the oregano leaves. Serve the toasted peasant bread alongside the peppers in a napkin-lined basket. Recipe serves eight.
*If you cannot get fresh oregano to sprinkle on the peppers, fresh basil or parsley is just fine.
Grilled Vegetable Medley
1 fennel bulb, top trimmed, tough outer leaves removed, the ncut lengthwise into strips
2 zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthwise into strips
1 large red onion, cut into thick rings
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place fennel, zucchini and onion rings in self-sealing bag. Add oil, salt and pepper to taste. Seal and shake to coat well.
Grill over medium coals or heat, turning frequently, until browned and tender, five to eight minutes. Baste wit hmore oil as needed to keep the vegetables from drying out. Recipe makes four side servings.
Grilled Portabella Mushrooms
Six portabella mushrooms
3/4 cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, oregano, thyme, mint, and/or basil
Three cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup olive oil
Preheat a grill for 15 minutes on high. Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Brush; do not wash the mushrooms. Mix the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and olive oil and drizzle over both sides of the mushroom caps.
Place the mushrooms on the grill and cook, turning once or twice, until dark brown and slightly soft, about eight minutes on each side. Recipe serves four.
Notes: Look for dark-brown portabellas with strong stalks. Avoid those with dark gills. Store in a loosely covered bowl in the refrigerator for up to two days. Wipe with a damp paper towel to remove dirt. Remove stems and flavor your broth with them.
Four large artichokes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/4 cup olive oil
Slice thorny artichoke tops off, crosswise. Trim stems. In large saucepan with lid, boil or steam artichokes until bottoms pierce easily, or a leaf pulls off easily, about 30 minutes.
Drain artichokes and cool. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and scrape out fuzzy center and any purple-tipped leaves.
In large plastic bag, mix remaining ingredients. Place artichokes in bag, seal and turn to mix. For best flavor, marinate overnight, refrigerated, but artichokes should marinate at least one hour.
Drain artichokes. Over medium coals or gas grill set on medium, place artichokes cut side down. Grill until lightly browned on cut side, five to seven minutes. Turn artichokes and drizzle with some of remaining marinade. Grill until leaves are lightly charred, three to four minutes more. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Recipe makes eight servings, 1/2 artichoke each.