Italian-style Grilled Vegetables
Previously, I had only ever thought of grilling courgettes, but thanks to Manuela (a professional cook who was recently staying with us), I have learned a whole lot more about how to grill vegetables and the flavourings and flavours that can go with them. We have experimented with vegetables such as butternut squashes and aubergines, things that I would never thought of grilling before. The secret is to thinly slice the vegetables lengthways and then sear in the flavour with a griddle pan before adding flavours such as garlic, chilli, lemon or vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
This page includes recipes for three grilled vegetable dishes: aubergine, courgette and butternut squash.
It has sparked a whole new interest in grilling things, and in the future I want to experiment not just with other vegetables but also seafood and shellfish. In preparation, we have resurrected an old griddle pan which had gone completely rusty. Here it is after the restoration work:
For all of the three recipes, you need to thinly slice the vegetables lengthways. It is then important to get the griddle pan really hot before adding the sliced vegetables. Cook for 3 minutes before turning. Then turn again, rotating through 90º so that the grilled lines cross and then flip and cook for another 3 minutes (12 minutes in total).
Once the sliced vegetables have cooked, transfer them to a flat serving dish and sprinkle with salt.
Here are some suggestions for how to dress the vegetables:
You can make up some chilli-garlic olive oil in a small container: add a couple of cloves of garlic, some sliced chilli and olive oil and blend well with a stick blender. Brush the sliced vegetable with the oil mixture and keep it in the fridge until you next need it.
PUMPKIN: finely chop some garlic cloves and parsley and sprinkle over the vegetables. Mix together some balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar and olive oil and dress the vegetables.
AUBERGINE: finely chop some garlic cloves, chilli and oregano or mint and sprinkle over the vegetables. Dress with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
COURGETTES: finely chop some garlic cloves and sprinkle over the vegetables. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice.