Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WDW - Grilled Vegetables

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I know it's not full-swing grilling season yet, but sometimes I just get a craving for grilled vegetables. I love vegetables so much, I sometimes get a rush being in the produce department (I'm not kidding). I practically drool at Farmer's Markets. It's embarrassing.

Because of my undying love for vegetables, I have often thought that I would make a great vegetarian. The only problem I have found with being a vegetarian is that you don't eat any meat. And that would be a very big problem for me, as I am a girl who loves her steak. So, I guess I wouldn't really make a great vegetarian after all. I'll just be a person who eats a lot of vegetables. And a lot of meat.

I really enjoy grilling up a bunch of different veggies, and having them the fridge for various uses. First, I'll show you how I do it, then I'll share some ideas for what to do with them!

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First thing I do, is pour a good amount of olive oil into a bowl, and season it. Today it was simply a generous sprinkle of Penzey's greek seasoning. You can be creative here, adding whatever seasonings you fancy, just season heavily and use enough salt because you want the veggies to be flavorful. Slice the veggies and place them in a jelly roll pan.

Just so you know, I have never, ever made a jelly roll. To be perfectly honest, I'm not even sure what a jelly roll is, really. But, they must be extremely good, to have a pan named exclusively for them.

Anyways, brush the veggies generously with your olive oil mixture all around. Today I did zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper, and asparagus. If you use asparagus, be sure you get the thick kind so it doesn't fall through the grill! Other delicious choices are: red onion wedges, green onions (grill them whole), yellow squash slices, whole portobello mushrooms, and even halved carrots (not baby carrots!) are fantastic.

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Are you one of those people who "thinks" they don't like eggplant? Try grilling it- it's yum-o.

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Red bell peppers are SO good for you. Never buy green ones - no vitamins whatsoever. Sometimes I slice my zucchini, and sometimes I just quarter it.

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So, check out this little tool. I wasted years of my life being disgusted with basting brushes. You know, the kind with the wooden handle and horse-tail like bristles. The kind that no matter how hard you clean them, barbecue sauce and seasonings stay forever embedded. No offense to those of you who might have one of those mangled, crusty items in your utensil drawer, but I dare you to go take a good, hard look at your brush. Do you think it looks sanitary? Well, do you? Admit it, you're grossed out. I'm telling you, this little baby is the ticket. It does a great job basting, and cleans up perfectly. Next time you visit Target, throw one in that big red cart.

OK, now that you have your veggies prepped with the proper brush, it's time to cook. Preheat your gas grill to high. Lay the veggies out single file, and grill for approximately 5 minutes each side. That's it - done. You might have to work in batches if your grill isn't big enough.

What to do with these gorgeous veggies? Well, you can just serve them as a side dish for practically anything, to begin with. Want to be a bit more creative? Sprinkle on some feta or blue cheese and drizzle with a nice vinaigrette. This can be served hot, room temperature, or even cold as a salad.

I love a veggie sandwich. Try a veggie panini - layer veggies on a nice foccacia bread with some fresh mozzarella cheese and pesto, and put in the panini press. Or, just serve the same sandwich cold on a crusty baguette.

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You could also make my my grilled vegetable pasta salad. Mmm. Or, this salad, pictured above. It's simply chopped grilled vegetables atop a bed of mixed greens, with some goat cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette. Let me tell you, this is a fantastic lunch. Trust me, I know, because I've had it every day this week for lunch.

You could also use the veggies as a pizza topping. Grab some TJ's pizza dough, brush with a little olive oil mixed with some fresh garlic, top with the cheese of your choice and some chopped grilled veggies and pop in the oven. Super easy and delicious! Pizza makes a great appetizer too!

Me? I usually just grab some of these veggies and eat them when I'm walking by the fridge. Or, I might make myself a little plate with hummus, pita and grilled vegetables. But I mostly just grab them out of the fridge.

They're just so good.

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3 comments:

Suzi said...

ok that looks so yummy! I want to be a kid at your house!

Dodson Family said...

oh my goodness - these look AMAZING!!! I am going to buy that tool thingy too!

The Mom said...

My husband is in the mood for a grilled steak, so I'm going to try grilling some veggies along with it sometime this week. Thanks for the idea! But, looking ALL through WDW recipes for this specific one made me think that maybe, just maybe, you might need a search box on your blog ;O) Then I could always find those recipes that I have pictures of in my head, but can't seem to find on your blog! Just a thought :o)

Thank you!!!!