Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grilled Vegetables

Momma likes to grill in the summer time, mainly because that allows Poppa to do the grilling and Momma does the chilling ! Most of us grill our meats but veggies too can be grilled and they taste great with wine.

Momma Explains: Grilled vegetables are easy but you must understand the grilling time and preparation is key. You can grill almost any vegetable but there are some that really jump out after grilling. My favorites are; Onions, peppers, eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes and mushrooms. Make sure you clean all your vegetables and brush them with olive oil. I like serving grilled vegetables with a Cotes Du Rhone such as Domaine de la Chesnay, 2007

Momma's Grilled Vegetables: Start by peeling your eggplant. After peeling, I slice it into about 1/4 inch rounds and spread the slices on a triple thick paper towel, salt both sides of the slices with Kosher or sea salt. Then let it sit until you are ready to grill ( it needs about 20 minutes to do that). You will be brushing all your vegetables with olive oil and I use a silicone pastry brush for that. Salt and pepper all your vegetables after brushing with olive oil. I slice most of the vegetables into 1/2 inch rounds, except for the onions and eggplant. I slice them slightly thinner. I use large portabello mushrooms and remove the stems before brushing with olive oil. I will cook the flat side of the mushroom first, flip, then sprinkle with blue cheese or parmigiano cheese. Do not use too much cheese or it will run off the mushroom. The onions, mushroom and eggplant take the longest to cook. You will need to press on them or just taste it to determine if they are done. You want a firm but thoroughly cooked vegetable. I find that each grill varies and some can cook more evenly and quickly, our old grill takes about 10 minutes to grill most vegetables, 20 for the eggplant but you will need to experiment a bit. You can always taste one and throw them back on if underdone. The tomatoes cook quickly and tend to drip their juices so watch them, the zucchini and peppers cook about the same amount of time. After the vegetables have finished cooking, place on a large platter, and drizzle with a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar . Use the expensive Italian version, it is rich and flavorful so a little goes a long way. Remember to chill your Cotes Du Rhone a bit before serving. You could make a meal out of just the vegetables!

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