Grilled Ratatouille for Two
I'm not sure what's going on lately, but we've been eating more and more vegetables. It's not to say we didn't before, but to have as many dishes as we've had lately that have been void of meat, is VERY unusual for us. We'll try not to make it a habit. LOL!
With that said, we decided to give this Bobby Flay recipe a try from The Food Network, for a couple of reasons. One, it's all the types of vegetables we like and two, grilled veggies are tasty. Some of you may not be comfortable grilling veggies, if your not, roll up your sleeves and do it. It takes a little practice (and patience, you can't just put the veggies on and walk away), but you can do it. This would be a great recipe that still has the training wheels on if you're new to grilling veggies.
It all comes together pretty quickly. You want to first cut up all your veggies into quarters and big chunks. That makes them easier to grill and handle with the tongs.
Toss them in olive oil and salt and pepper and get them on a hot grill. Same rules apply as if you were grilling proteins, know where your hot , warm and 'cold' zones are on your grill. You want to cook the veg and get a char on them, but they can easily get away from you if everything is too hot and your not moving stuff through your zones.
Now you're cooking....
Here are our tips:
1. We went 'off script' a little and added feta cheese and did fresh basil instead of fresh oregano. The cheese real elevated it and added another later that wasn't just a 'smoky'.
2. We also added leeks, DON'T! That little experiment didn't work because they were tough and a little stringy.
3. We tried it as a main dish, DON'T. The flavor was great, it's just too much veg as a main dish. Serve it as a side, with a protein and it will make a great meal.
Here comes the recipe
2 zucchini, cut into quarters lengthwise
2 yellow squash, cut into quarters lengthwise
2 Japanese eggplant, halved lengthwise
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and quartered
2 yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and quartered
2 red onions, quartered
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Preheat grill to medium-high. Place all cut vegetables and the tomatoes in a large shallow baking dish, add the 1/2 cup of olive oil, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place the vegetables on the grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. Remove the tomatoes, cover grill, and cook the remaining vegetables for 2 minutes, or until almost cooked through. Transfer vegetables to a cutting board and coarsely chop (leave tomatoes whole). Place the chopped vegetables and tomatoes in a large bowl, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, oregano and parsley and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve at room temperature.