1. MARINATED GRILLED VEGETABLES WITH AVOCADO WHIPPED FETA
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 zucchini squash, sliced into rounds
2 large portobello mushroom caps, sliced
1 large eggplant, sliced into rounds
1 large onion, sliced into rounds
1 cup radishes, halved
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into “fry-like” pieces
1 baguette, sliced into rounds
a handful of fresh oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme for garnish
avocado whipped feta
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled and at room temperature
1 avocado, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil, if needed
In a bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, paprika and pepper.
Place the zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, onion and radish pieces in a large baking dish. Cover with the marinade and stick the dish in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. In the meantime, you can par boil the sweet potato so once grilled, it’s the perfect consistency. Put the slices in a saucepan full of water and bring it to a boil, boiling for about 1 to 2 minutes. Then remove and toss with the marinade.
Heat the grill to it’s highest setting. Brush the baguette with olive oil on both sides.
Once the grill is hot, remove the veggies from the marinade with tongs and place them on the grill. Start with the potatoes, peppers and eggplant. If your zucchini slices and radishes are small, you can use a grill plate if you have one, or simply wrap them in aluminum foil. You can grill until you reach the char you desire – at least until grill marks appear and the veggies are golden.
Grill the bread last because it can burn quickly. Fill a platter or baking sheet with your vegetables and bread. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper if you’d like. Cover the vegetables in a sprinkle of fresh herbs. Serve immediately with the avocado feta!
avocado whipped feta
Add almost all of crumbled feta to a food processor and pulse until small crumbs remain. Add in the avocado and puree, scraping down the sides when necessary, until the feta is super creamy. Serve topped with a few extra feta crumbs and fresh herbs.
2. GRILLED ZUCCHINI CAPRESE
3 medium zucchini (1½ lbs.), cut lengthwise
5 tomatoes, sliced ½ - inch thick
8 oz. pre-sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
¼ tsp. garlic salt
fresh basil leaves, julienned
salt and fresh ground black pepper
Drizzle and rub zucchini halves with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Preheat the grill on medium-high and grill the zucchini covered for 3-5 minutes per side or just until knife tender.
Remove the grilled zucchini to a serving platter cut side up. Season evenly with garlic salt. Top each half with mozzarella cheese and sliced tomatoes in overlapping pattern. Sprinkle with basil and drizzle with olive oil. Season with additional salt and fresh ground black pepper as needed.
Serve immediately or at room temperature. It also tastes good chilled the next day. Serves 6-8 as a side.
3. GRILLED SUMMER VEGETABLE SALAD
1 medium eggplant
3 ears corn
2 medium zucchini
2 small or one medium summer squash
1 whole red onion
1 bunch asparagus
1 red pepper
¼ cup herb infused oil, for grilling
2 pounds mixed grape and cherry tomatoes (or any of your own favorite varieties)
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, cut into a thin chiffonade
4 ounces Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
For the Dressing
¼ cup herb infused oil
Zest of half a lemon
Juice from one lemon (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
Few grinds black pepper
Heat grill to the hottest temperature.
Cut ends from eggplant and cut lengthwise into three or four thick slices. Shave the skin off the two outside pieces so the flesh will get grill marks. Lay the slices on your board or plate and salt both sides liberally. This will draw out the bitterness.
While the eggplant sits, prepare the other vegetables.
Husk the corn and place on a tray.
Cut the ends off the zucchini and summer squash then cut in half lengthwise. Place on tray with corn.
Cut the top off the red onion but leave the root attached. Cut it in quarters, leaving root attached to each quarter. This will help keep it together while grilling. Place on tray with other vegetables.
Cut the tough ends off the asparagus and place spears on tray with vegetables.
Cut the red pepper in half. Remove core and seeds and place the two halves on tray with vegetables.
Rinse and dry eggplant and add to tray with other vegetables.
Brush all of the vegetables on all sides with your choice of infused oils.
Once all of the vegetables are brushed with oil, lay them all out on your grill. As each side chars, turn and grill the other side. Depending on your grill, the time to cook will vary but different vegetables will take different amounts of time. The corn and onions took the longest and the asparagus took the least. Just remove back to the platter once each is grilled.
Cut each vegetable into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl. With a sharp knife or a corn stripper tool, remove kernels and place in bowl.
Cut all of the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl.
Make the dressing by combining all ingredients and add to bowl along with the fresh basil. Toss until combined.
Top with the cheese and serve.
4. GRILLED PINEAPPLE WITH COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM
1 (13.5 ounce) can full fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 tsp. sugar, divided
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
Fresh mint for garnish, if desired
Make the coconut whipped cream. Place the can of coconut milk in your refrigerator overnight. The next day, place the bowl of your mixer and the whisk attachment in your freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill. Remove the can of coconut milk from your refrigerator and FLIP it upside down. Open the can and pour off the liquid at the top (note: you can save this liquid in use it in smoothies, if desired). Transfer the solid portion to your chilled mixing bowl and start whisking on high. Once it starts to get fluffy and light, add in the vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of the sugar, whisking until incorporated. Cover the coconut whipped cream and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.
Toast the hazelnuts in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until they become fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Grill the pineapple. Pre-heat your grill to high. Remove the top and bottom portions of the pineapple and discard. Slice the remaining pineapple into slices about 1-inch thick. I can usually get about 6 slices from one medium pineapple. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. sugar on each side of the pineapple slices and place them on your pre-heated grill. Grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they get nice grill marks and the pineapple is slightly softened. Remove from the grill. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the pineapple slices.
Serve the grilled pineapple slices with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired.