As I have turned over a new leaf, I no longer buy those delicious (yet completely fat and sodium laden) treats. But, I still like to snack. So nowadays, I bust out my trusty grill pan and make some grilled and marinated veggies to snack on. I first encountered this method while working at Bari Ristorante e Enoteca in Memphis, TN. The process is a little time consuming but well worth the work. These bad lads are great on an antipasti plate, in a pannini, or thrown into a spinach salad, couscous, or a chilled pasta salad. Or just about anything!
Personally, I love making flatbread pizzas with them. Play around with different vegetables and herbs, like peppers, thinly sliced carrots, and spring onions.
Grilled and Marinated Zucchini and Eggplant
This is a method; you decide the quantity.
Garlic, thinly sliced
Basil, finely chopped (or oregano, mint, or parsley)
Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat. Using a mandolin, slice zucchini length wise in thin, ¼” strips. In batches, grill zucchini until grill marks just barely become visible through the side remaining up (about 3 minutes). Flip and grill for another minute. Set aside to cool.
In a flat container, create one even layer of vegetables. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Add a few slivers of garlic, a few capers, and basil. Drizzle with oil. Continue to layer until all of the vegetables have been treated. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the vegetables to marinate for at least 3 hours.
Repeat process with eggplant substituting oregano or mint for the basil.
The key to this is moderation. Don’t go too crazy!
|Makings for a great pannini: zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and arugula with homemade pesto.|
I know this isn't vegan, but it sure is tasty.
3 cups loosely packed basil
5 cloves garlic
¼ cup almonds
1 lemon, zest and juice
¼ cup parmesan cheese
¾ cup olive oil
In a small food processor, combine garlic and almonds with a little bit of salt and whir away until they form a paste. Scrape down the sides and add basil, zest and juice. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the cheese. Store in an airtight container with a layer of olive oil on top (this helps it retain its vibrant green color).