Make an Impressive Vegetable Display
There is no better way to celebrate the wide variety of fresh vegetables that are coming to market now than with a lovely grilled marinated vegetable platter. This is also one of the sure-fire ways to get your family to eat vegetables. Make up a platter of these grilled vegetables, put it out on your table and just see what happens. Your family will be picking a bean here, a mushroom there, and those roasted peppers will disappear right in front of your eyes.
|Marinated and Grilled Vegetable Platter|
This grilled vegetable platter is perfect for a picnic or barbecue. This is a perfect picnic dish because it can be made and chilled in your refrigerator two or three days in advance. When serving, you don't have to worry about keeping it either hot or cold. It is delicious at room temperature. That also makes it a perfect dish for a buffet dinner party. Don't you love it when you can make things ahead instead of having to prepare everything the same day as your party?
Let's not forget about the leftovers. As leftovers, these vegetables are perfect in an omelet, on top of a pizza or layered with your favorite deli meats for a delectable sandwich. Yum!
Have I convinced you? Good. Now a word of caution. You may think this is an easy peasy, whip it up kind of recipe. Well, it is and it isn't. There's a whole lot of chopping, marinade making and standing in front of a grill involved. You reduce the work a bit by using your favorite bottled salad dressing as your marinade but do give yourself enough time to make this dish. Start to finish, the vegetable platter you see in the pictures here took me three hours. I know, that's a lot of time, but I made a lot of vegetables...and did I mention how good the leftovers are?
Let's make a grilled, marinated vegetable platter, shall we?
Grilled Marinated VegetablesPrint Recipes
|Begin with Fresh Vegetables|
- 8 medium tomatoes
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 2 medium yellow squash
- 1 pound button mushrooms
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1/2 pound fresh green beans
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 3 medium red peppers
- 3 medium yellow peppers
For the marinade (substitute your favorite bottled dressing)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
First, make the marinated tomatoes. Refrigerate. Prepare the remaining vegetables. Slice the squash and the eggplant lengthwise about 1/4 inch thick. Do this carefully in order to keep the thickness consistent. Wash and cut the stems off the mushrooms. Discard the stems. Cut the stem end off the green beans and cut about one-third off the stalk of the asparagus. Cut the peppers lengthwise into strips, about eight per pepper.
Place the squash and eggplant in a 13 X 9-inch glass baking dish and toss with one-third of the marinade. Place the mushrooms and peppers together in a large bowl and toss with one-third of the marinade.
Blanch the green beans and the asparagus. Fill a large pot with water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil. Place the green beans in the pot and set a timer for three minutes.
|Blanch the Beans|
Fill a large bowl two-thirds full with ice and water (an ice bath for the vegetables). When the timer goes off remove the beans from the pot with a slotted spoon or kitchen spider and immediately transfer to the ice bath. See how lovely and bright the cold water makes them?
|Chill Beans in an Ice Bath|
Now put the asparagus in the pot with the boiling water. Tie the asparagus together with a piece of kitchen twine, so it will be easy to remove them from the water.
|Tie the Asparagus for Easy Removal|
Set the timer for two minutes. Remove the green beans from the ice bath and drain. Add more ice to the ice bath if necessary. After two minutes remove the asparagus from the pot and submerge the spears in the ice bath. Whew! You're done with that.
Drain the asparagus. Place the asparagus and the beans in a bowl and add the remaining one-third of the marinade. Toss lightly being careful not to break the tops off the asparagus.
Preheat your grill. It's time to cook the squash, eggplant, peppers, and mushrooms. Place the various vegetables directly on your grill, grilling each side for 2-3 minutes until your get some nice blackened grill markets.
|Grilling the Peppers|
When you remove them from the grill go ahead and return them to the same dish you marinated them in. This will add more marinade flavor as they cool in the dish.
|Back in the Marinade Bowl|
You can either chill the vegetables in their respective bowls until you are ready to use them, or arrange them attractively on a platter prior to chilling. The key to making your platter look appetizing is to cluster the vegetables together so colors and textures make a visual impact. Let your creativity emerge.
|Be Creative in Arranging the Vegetables|
Here are some other vegetable recipes you may enjoy:
Summer Vegetable Medley
How to Grill Corn on the Cob
Baby Spinach with Garlic and Olive Oil
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