Italian-style Grilled Vegetables

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.

Roast butternut squash with cous cous and vegetables

 

Roast butternut squash with cous cous and vegetables
Serves 6
In this recipe, the flesh is removed from the roasted butternut squash halves and mixed with fried vegetables and cous cous.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 butternut squash, halved and seeds removed
  2. 1 1/2 cups of cous cous
  3. 3 cups of boiling water
  4. 1 onion, finely chopped
  5. 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  6. 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  7. 6 tablespoons fried tomato
  8. grated cheese
  9. oregano
  10. salt
  11. pepper
  12. chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 180ºC-200ºC.
  2. Sprinkle the squash halves with oregano and season with salt and pepper and roast until soft.
  3. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onions until soft.
  4. Add the chopped red and green pepper and continue frying gently.
  5. Boil some water.
  6. Put the cous cous in a bowl. Season with salt and drizzle over some olive oil. Mix well. Pour over the boiling water. Cover with a plate.
  7. When the squash is cooked, remove from the oven and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
  8. Add the cous cous, fried tomato and fried vegetables.
  9. Mix well and check for seasoning.
  10. Fill the squash halves with the squash mixture.
  11. Sprinkle over the grated cheese.
  12. Put back in the oven and turn up the oven to 220ºC.
  13. Roast for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  14. Sprinkle over the parsley.
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Danish Vegetarian Dishes

Danish Vegetarian Dishes

Anna and Sebastian, two Danish workawayers, prepared these Danish vegetarian dishes for Sebastian’s birthday meal. I loved their idea of preparing a delicious vegetarian meal with a Danish theme but using as much of our home-grown vegetables and produce as possible. All of the dishes are vegetarian and the patties are vegan.

The main course consisted of spicy lentil patties with a Danish potato salad and a cabbage salad, along with our normal green salad and pan-fried courgettes. Sebastian made some fresh mayonnaise in advance. He some in the potato salad and added some chilli powder to the rest and thinned it down with some lemon juice for a spicy dipping sauce for the patties.

This was followed by Danish-style pancakes with raspberries and cream.

To see the recipes, click on the photos below.

Danish vegetarian dishes: lentil patties

Dried, rapid green lentils were used for these patties and cooked in advance before adding the onions and spices. The patties are actually vegan and some of the tastiest I’ve ever had.Danish vegetarian dishes: aromatic cabbage saladGround star anise and dried plums were added to this Danish-style coleslaw.Danish vegetarian dishes: Danish potato saladIn Denmark, sour cream is generally used for this potato and radish potato salad. However, as it’s impossible to buy that here, Anna and Sebastian used Greek yoghurt instead.

Self-raising flour was used for the pancakes instead of plain flour and they were lovely and fluffy. They were flavoured with ground cardamom. Once they had been cooked, they were served with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

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Vegetable stirfry and egg-fried rice

Vegetable stirfry and egg-fried rice

vegetable stirfryThis stirfry is quick and easy and a tasty vegetable/vegetarian meal.

INGREDIENTS:
1/3 cup rice per person, cooked, washed and cooled
1 egg per person, beaten
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garli, finely chopped
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
1 courgette, thinly sliced
mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 handfuls peanuts
peanut oil
sesame oil
soy sauce
salt and pepper

METHOD:
Heat some oil in a large frying pan or wok and gently fry the onion untl soft. Add the garlic and fry for anothe rminute or so. Transfer about a third of the onion/garlic mixture to another frying pan/wok for the rice.

Add the vegetables to the stirfry pan and quickly for another couple of minutes before adding the ginger and curry powder. Stir well and then add some soy sauce. Add the minutes last, stir well and then leave on a low heat while you cook the rice.

Add some oil to the rice pan and heat the rice through. You can either make a well in the middle and add the eggs, stirring well so that all the grains are coated and stirfrying until the eggs are cooked, or you can push the rice to one side of the pan and then fry the eggs in he space until they are cooked, chopping them up before combining (it’s a question of whether you prefer to see bits of egg or not). Add the peanuts and a splash of soy sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Serve the stirfried vegetables and the egg-fried rice together.

stirfry2

Pisto – Ratatouille

Pisto - Rattouille

Pisto – Rattouille

As a way of conserving the aubergines and having a taste of summer at some later point in the winter months, I decided to use the neighbour’s recipe to make some Spanish pisto (or ratatouille). The only difference between the two is that this is a slightly slushier version with the vegetables diced smaller.

The quantities here will make about seven 400g jars.

INGREDIENTS:
5 large aubergines
5 Italian green peppers
2 or 3 large onions5-7 tomatoes
5 courgettes

Dice all the ingredients into 1cm cubes.

In a large pan, fry the onion in some olive oil until soft. Add the green pepper and fry for another couple of minutes before adding the diced aubergine. When the aubergine is soft, add the courgette and tomato and fry until the mixture is soft and slushy. Cook for a further couple of minutes until it is slightly dryer and then bottle.

Cook in a bain marie for 15 minutes.

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