I don’t know about you but I absolutely love vegetables, especially when they’re seasoned and grilled to perfection. It’s that time of year so hit up your local farmer’s market and start grilling those veggies! Here’s a simple recipe that will be a win win win for you and your guests.
What you need:
Fresh cracked pepper
Good olive oil
To start, select your fresh produce. I like to use skewers and make kabobs so that they’re easier to cook at one time. Trust me, once you stand over a hot fire flipping a few dozen vegetables individually……you learn to desire them on a wooden skewer! For these kabobs I typically include zucchini squash, yellow squash, red onion, orange bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes. Select the veggies that you like best! This selection adds an additional color complexity to go with those delicious flavors. The taste is as vibrant as the colors!
Soak your wooden skewers in water for approximately 30 minutes. This is important to keep your skewers from going up into a burst of flames and disintegrating before your food is ready to be removed. I’ve had a kabob fall apart in mid air while leaving the grill and it wasn’t pretty so make sure you soak them! If you don’t have time, you can coat them with canola oil but the slippery skewers can be a bit hazardous when coated in oil so don’t poke one through the palm of your hand. While the wooden skewers are soaking, wash and cut your vegetables. The most important thing is to slice them into similar sizes. The goal is to make everything cook evenly so that you don’t bite into a soggy mess with an awkward raw crunch lurking around your mouth. I cut mine into a perfect, yet approximate 1 inch cube. The one inch cube times out perfectly when cooked simultaneously with a steak or pork chop. Once the veggies are cut, place them on the skewer. There is no strict way of doing this but I do try to alternate colors so that your lights and darks are cradled to compliment each other.
Once your skewers are formed, drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper generously. Be generous, you really need a lot of salt and pepper to make it through the grilling process. Don’t forget that I always use Kosher salt! It’s so much better for many reasons….it distributes more evenly and you can see it when you sprinkle it over your lovely vegetables.
Next, I sprinkle some dried parsley flakes over the veggies. This not only adds a great color depth but it also helps give a great little crispy flare to the soft and tender vegetables. Last, dust lightly with paprika. Yes, paprika adds a very nice color element but most importantly it brings out that smokey grilled flavor in the vegetables. It makes a difference!
Place the skewers on the grill over direct high heat. Grill for 5-6 minutes and then flip over, cooking an additional 5-6 minutes. Remove them from the grill when they look done…..some like them a little charred (ME) and some like them a little more crunchy. It’s strictly up to you! I hope you enjoy all summer long! Let me add…..they warm up perfectly so if you do manage to have some left overs….they heat up nicely the next day.