Tag Archives: grilling

Grilling isn’t (all) About Meat

12 Aug

Summertime is in full swing here in Texas which means that just about everyone with access to a grill is firing it up on at least a weekly basis. Grilling gives you an excuse to do so many things – hang out outside, play with fire, invite people over, buy way too much food, drink beer, poke at items on the grill to see if they’re “done” – more things than I can list.

Grilled blue potatoes, eggplant and okra.

Something that I always find funny, though, is how many people think that grilling is all about meat. Whenever my vegetarian boyfriend and I are grilling (or attending an event where others are grilling), people always ask “oh, are you making something special for him?” Naturally, when we go to other people’s houses, I do bring something “special” for him, but when people are at our place, most of what we’re grilling is vegetables. I appreciate a good steak as much as the next person, but vegetables are fantastic (not to mention healthier) on the grill too.

Grilling is a fast, easy way to cook most vegetables and makes for a very satisfying meal.

This weekend, one of my friends and I got together to grill and decided to use up a large portion of my CSA veggies for the week while we did. It was beautiful. We made roasted blue potatoes, grilled eggplants topped with peppers, grilled okra, and grilled peaches (topped with vanilla ice cream).

Most of this is pretty basic, but here are a few notes on making each item:

I'm writing about grilling the veggies, but I couldn't help but love this picture of the blue potatoes raw - they're so pretty!

Roasted Blue Potatoes

  • Cut potatoes into small pieces (mine were small anyway, so I cut them into fourths)
  • In a bowl, toss potatoes with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices (I used fresh sage – that was great)
  • Put potatoes into a foil pack and leave the pack partially open on top
  • Grill over high heat for about 20 – 30 minutes or until tender, tossing them around occasionally

Grilled Eggplant Topped with Peppers

  • Slice eggplant into rounds that are about half of an inch thick
  • Lay on a cookie sheet and sprinkle the eggplant with a little sea salt
  • Let the eggplant sit and “sweat” for about 20 minutes. This gets out a little of the water
  • Soak up water beads on top with a paper towel
  • Brush eggplants with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Slice up peppers long ways and put on top of the eggplants (I used toothpicks to hold mine
    together)
  • I didn’t but you could add cheese at this point, it would be delicious
  • Grill eggplants for about 10 minutes or until there are light char marks on the side that faces the grill

Grilled Okra (Adapted from Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America’s Farmers, by Janet Fletcher)

  • Cut off okra caps
  • Pour some olive oil onto a plate, and roll okra in the oil
  • Sprinkle okra with paprika
  • Set okra on the top shelf of the grill (perpendicular to the bars so that they don’t fall through)
  • You want the okra to get really cooked, I like mine slightly charred
  • Cook for about 10 – 15 minutes, turning over half way through

Grilled Peaches

These are our peaches before grilling. Ideally, they'll have nice black grill marks on the flesh after you grill them.

  • Slice peaches in half or in thirds, removing pits
  • Toss peaches with a little bit of oil (we used canola oil)
  • Grill for about 5 – 10 minutes, just until they start to get char marks
  • Once finished grilling, toss in a bowl with a few tablespoons of brown sugar
  • Top with vanilla ice cream

As you can see from the photo, this made for a beautiful dinner that was also tasty and easy to prepare. Other veggies that I love to grill – corn on the cob, portabella mushrooms, squash of any kind, tomatoes and Brussels sprouts. I’m sure that there are more, but I haven’t tried them all yet.
Happy grilling!

Pattypan Squash Topped with Vegetarian Chorizo & Cotija Cheese

16 Jun

(Adapted from Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America’s Farmers, by Janet Fletcher)

One of my favorite things about being part of a CSA is that it introduces me to vegetables that I haven’t tried before. This week was the second time that we’ve gotten pattypan squash. The first time, I had no clue what to do with it and it ended up going bad (this happened oddly fast, I have no clue why).

Fortunately this time around, while I was picking up my vegetables, Janet Fletcher was at Green Gate Farms signing her cookbook Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America’s Farmers, One of the recipes in the book was designed just for pattypan squash, and advised topping with wiht chorizo along with some other great ingredients. I loved the idea of the squash with chorizo so I gave it a shot.

We tend to keep vegetarian at my house so I adapted the recipe a little for vegetarians (and for what was available in my kitchen). The results were fantastic.

2 Pattypan Squashes

2 tbsp Olive Oil

2 tsp Dried Oregano

3 tbsp Sour Cream

1 Vegetarian Chorizo

1 Small Onion, chopped

2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

2 – 4 tbsp Grated Cotija Cheese

1 tbsp Fresh Cilantro

Cut off the tops (and bottoms if needed) of the squashes so that they’re flat on both sides, then cut the squash horizontally into two large flat slices. Brush the squash with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle it with oregano.

Place the squash on a grill, preheated to medium. It needs to cook for about 10 minutes on each side.

While the squash is cooking, place the oil, onions, and vegetarian chorizo into a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until the chorizo is slightly crumbly.

Remove the squash from the grill once they’re slightly brown on each side. Lay them flat and spread a little sour cream on each squash. Pile a little bit of the chorizo mixture on each squash then sprinkle cheese and cilantro on top.