Foodie Friday: Veggies on the Grill

Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta & Herbs
Via Fine Cooking

Summer is a great time of year to switch to healthier eating habits because of all the delicious fruits and vegetables that are in season.  And it's the time of year for grilling!  Why not combine the two?  Here are some great veggie recipes for the grill.  Enjoy!

Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta & Herbs

For the vinaigrette:
1 small clove garlic
Kosher salt
1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 small shallot, very finely diced
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin seed, lightly toasted and pounded in a mortar or ground in a spice grinder
Pinch cayenne; more to taste

For the eggplant:
1 large globe eggplant (about 1 lb.), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
Kosher salt
1/4 cup crumbled feta
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh mint
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Make the vinaigrette:
With a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and a pinch of salt to a paste, or mince the garlic, sprinkle with salt, and mash into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife.

Combine the garlic paste and 1 Tbs. of the lemon juice in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Combine the shallot with the remaining 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice and a pinch of salt in another small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk the olive oil, cumin, and cayenne into the garlic mixture. Season to taste with salt or cayenne, if necessary.

Grill the eggplant:
Prepare a medium-high charcoal or gas grill fire. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill (covered on a gas grill; uncovered on a charcoal grill) until golden-brown grill marks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the eggplant and grill until tender and well marked on the second sides, 3 to 4 minutes more. The interior should be grayish and soft rather than white and hard.

Top grilled eggplant slices with the shallots, feta, and herbs. Whisk the vinaigrette and drizzle it on top. Serve immediately.

Grilled Veggie Platter
Via Taste of Home

Grilled Veggie Platter

Prep: 20 min. + marinating 
Grill: 10 min. 
Makes: 6 servings

1/4 cup olive oil
 2 tablespoons honey
 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
 1 teaspoon dried oregano
 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
 1/8 teaspoon pepper
 Dash of salt
 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
 3 small carrots, cut in half lengthwise
 1 large sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
 1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges

In a small bowl, whisk the first seven ingredients. Place 3 tablespoons marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Add vegetables; seal bag and turn to coat. Marinate 1-1/2 hours at room temperature.

Transfer vegetables to a grilling grid; place grid on grill rack. Grill vegetables, covered, over medium heat 8-12 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning occasionally.
Place vegetables on a large serving plate. Drizzle with remaining marinade. Yield: 6 servings.

Note: If you do not have a grilling grid, use a disposable foil pan. Poke holes in the bottom of the pan with a meat fork to allow liquid to drain.

Vegetable Kabobs
Via Damn Delicious

Vegetable Kabobs

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

2 cups cremini mushrooms
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 red onion, cut into chunks
1 zucchini, sliced into thick rounds
1 yellow zucchini, sliced into thick rounds

For the marinade:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano and basil; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Thread mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion and zucchini onto skewers. Place skewers onto a baking sheet. Brush olive oil mixture onto the skewers and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Grill over medium-high heat, about 5-6 minutes per side or place into 400 degree oven and roast until tender, about 10-12 minutes.  Serve immediately.

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