‘Tis the season — for grill scraping and sirloin marinating on patios throughout the state.
But not for vegetarians, who often end up buying the same frozen veggie burger, not eating or not showing up at all to these meat-centralized social …
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From The Kitchen Cooking School
6380 S. Fiddler’s Green Circle #108A
4 eggplant slices, cut lengthwise, ¼-inch thick
2 teaspoons salt
Salt and pepper
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 ½ cups goat cheese
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
2 tablespoons chives, minced
1/2 radicchio, quartered
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Preheat grill. Place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for a half hour. Rinse and pat dry. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill and cook until soft and pliable. Remove and place on a flat work surface.
Place the vinegar in a small pan and reduce by half or until slightly thickened. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese and herbs and season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture onto the eggplant and roll up. Place on a warm part of the grill to slightly melt the cheese.
Brush the radicchio with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until charred on both sides. Slice into thin strips and arrange on plate. Top with the eggplant and drizzle with the reduced balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the pine nuts.
Recipe from marlameridith.com
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 10 Cups
2 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and chopped into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces green beans, trim ends and cut in half
8 ounces cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, cut into bite-sized chunky pieces
A handful of garlic cloves, skins removed
A few splashes of olive oil
A few splashes of balsamic vinegar
Garlic salt to taste
Smoked paprika to taste
Black pepper to taste
Your favorite cheese
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Toss all chopped vegetables in a large bowl with enough oil and balsamic for an even thin coating. Put them in your grill basket.
Grill with the lid closed for about 15-20 minutes until the veggies are slightly charred and cooked to your liking. Toss every few minutes to ensure that they are not burning and they cook on all sides.
Feel free to experiment will all kinds of veggies. Just be sure to watch closely — denser ones will take longer to cook. If you find certain ones are quick grillers, then prepare your selections in batches. Use whatever you have on hand. Zucchini, asparagus, bell pepper, squash, etc., would be great, too.
Chop vegetables so they are relatively similar sizes.
Experiment with seasonings and sauces for different flavor combinations.
1 (16-ounce) package pizza dough, at room temperature
1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounces shredded Asiago cheese
3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup packed whole basil leaves
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.
Place pizza dough in a bowl to rise 2 to 3 times the original size, about 1 hour. Flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Divide dough in half; roll each half to a 10- to 12-inch diameter circle.
Place pizza dough rounds on the preheated grill using a wooden paddle (pizza peel) and close lid; cook until grill marks appear on the bottom of each round, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from grill and flip over on a work surface. Lower grill heat to medium.
Brush each round with olive oil. Spread half the Asiago cheese on each crust; add tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer pizzas to grill with wooden paddle and close lid. Cook until bottom of rounds is cooked with grill marks and cheese is melted, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from grill and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
But not for vegetarians, who often end up buying the same frozen veggie burger, not eating or not showing up at all to these meat-centralized social events.
Andy Floyd, executive chef at Kitchen Table Cooking School in Greenwood Village, believes that an entire category of food is being ignored: vegetables.
“When you start to put different vegetables on the grill, you have a whole new category to experiment with,” Floyd said. “Anything you pick up in the produce section can have a place on the grill.”
Floyd has taught culinary arts for 18 years. He started teaching after working in the industry for 10 years, in three-star Michelin restaurants in France and Washington, D.C.
Anything that can be cooked on the stove can be cooked on a grill, Floyd said.
Grilling any food, Floyd said, gives it a distinguishable char from high-heat searing and generates a taste not found in any other cooking method.
“You get this whole different flavor profile that you don’t get on the stove,” Floyd said. “You start to think of combining other vegetables as the main event.”
Throughout his cooking career, Floyd’s experiments on the grill have led to some delicious discoveries. Here, he shares his favorite ways to grill veggies.
Cutting a potato in half, season it with oils and spices, then grill it on each side. If you lightly mash the potato into the grill, Floyd said, there will be more charred flavoring.
After salting slices of eggplant, Floyd adds olive oil and grills until the slices are charred on each side. This is one of his favorite vegetables to grill.
When these veggies are grilled, their natural sugars create a caramelized char on the vegetable. Cut them into chunks.
These are a “no brainer” when it comes to grilling veggies, Floyd said. These mushrooms absorb liquids well, allowing them to hold endless flavors.
After peeling off the outer skin, cut the onion in half along the outer equator. Put powdered bouillon, vinegar, salt and pepper on the inside. Close up the onion and grill inside aluminum foil. For an extra kick, Floyd recommends sprinkling some miso paste in the onion.
Floyd recommends chopping vegetables into fine pieces and mixing them with eggs and panko to create a veggie burger.
Fill a pocket of aluminum foil with woodchips that have been soaked in water for a few hours. Put the pocket with the woodchips inside the grill between the two burners to create a smoking process.
Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, asparagus, parsnips are also good vegetables to grill.
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