Growing up, mixed vegetables frequently meant boiled peas and carrots, compliments of Birds-Eye®. Open the box of frozen “mixed vegetables”, place the contents in water, boil them to remove all flavor and nutrients, then smother them in butter and salt to make them somewhat palatable. I must admit however, that Birds-Eye® have come a long way since the 1950’s!
With summer in full swing and Farmers Markets popping up everywhere, “mixed vegetables” takes on a new meaning. Pick up some eggplants, preferably the small Italian variety, some red peppers and a couple of zucchinis. And, if you are so inclined, add a red onion and a summer squash, but its your call.
Following is a simple recipe for grilled mixed summer vegetables:
3 Italian Eggplants, cut into 1&1/2 inch cubes (leave the skin on for added flavor and crunch).
3 Red Peppers, cored, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch squares.
2 Zucchinis, sliced into thin circles (1/4 inch or less).
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to very hot, a covered grill is best in order to concentrate the heat.
2. Place the cut-up vegetables in a very large bowl.
3. Pour in the olive oil and toss well.
4. Add salt, pepper and basil and toss well again.
5. Place vegetables on a grill pan and roast with the grill cover closed for 25 to 30 minutes until cooked to your liking.
Serve as a side dish or main course.
As an added plus, place the leftovers in a gallon-sized Ziploc® bag and refrigerate for two or three days. Get some Italian bread with a good crust and a fresh mozzarella; slice the bread in half lengthwise, add the cold vegetables to the bottom half, cover with several slices of mozzarella add the top half and you are in veggie heaven.