Friday, July 20, 2012

SLF CSA Grilled Vegetables

When it's too hot to heat up the kitchen, it's grilling weather at my house.  With the right equipment, you can cook just about anything on a grill.

There are clever, fish-shaped grilling baskets for whole fish, rotisseries for meats, pizza stones for pizza, and skewers for just about anything.  But the single most useful piece of grilling equipment is a grill basket, a sturdy metal pan with sloped sides and lots of small holes.  It sits right on top of the grate.  The holes are perfect for letting juices drip down but too small to lose anything else.  And the pan can get quite hot, so you can get a nice char on whatever you're grilling.  It's ideal for grilling vegetables.

Start with a mix of fresh summer vegetables, cut them into strips or chunks, toss them in a little olive oil, sprinkle them with salt, and grill them in a grill basket, stirring occasionally, like a stir-fry.  Grill them until they're done to your liking, 10-20 minutes depending on how you like them and the heat of your grill.  It's that easy.

Some vegetables take longer to cook than others.  You can deal with this by cutting denser vegetables such as carrots into thinner pieces, or you can grill each vegetable separately until it's at its perfect done-ness.  Personally, I like that some vegetables turn out a little crunchier than others, so I just mix mine all together and grill them until there's a little char on some of the vegetables.

I like a mix of color, but you can go monochromatic if you wish.  Avoid leaves, such as spinach, kale and chard, as they tend to burn long before the other veggies are done.  Herbs are lovely and can add great depth of flavor, but they burn easily too, so add them after you take the veggies off the grill, or stir them in just before you take the vegetables off the grill.  A sprinkle or two of fine balsamic vinegar is another delicious way of dressing up your grilled vegetables.

My vegetable mix uses several of the items in today's box:  green beans, Mexican squash, carrots, and candy onions.  I threw in a little red bell pepper for extra color.  For two generous servings, I used:

1/4 lb green beans
1 Mexican squash
2 carrots
1 medium onion
1/2 red bell pepper
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Heat up the grill and grill pan.

2.  While the grill is heating, slice the vegetables and place in a bowl.

3.  Toss the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4.  When the grill is hot, pour the veggies into the grill pan and cook, stirring occasionally until done, about 10-20 minutes.

Serve hot or room temperature.

If you have any leftovers, you can toss them into an omelet or make a grilled vegetable sandwich on a fresh ciabatta roll with a little chipotle mayo.  Yum.

Today's bounty included:

From Jaime Farms:  Green beans, parsley, baby dill, and broccoli;

From JR Organics:  Red romaine lettuce and chard;

From Sage Mountain Farms:  Mexican squash, chantenay carrots, red russian kale, purple scallions, and yellow candy onions;

From Silver Lake Farms:  Basil seedlings;

From Sweet Tree Farms:  Yellow nectarines and donut peaches; and

From Weiser Family Farms:  Ogen melon.



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