Grilled seasonal vegetables make a colorful and festive beginning to a picnic or other outdoor gathering.  Use whatever is in season, as the list is endless and those shown below are just some of our favorites.

Ingredients:

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the grilled vegetables:

  • 1-2 red bell peppers
  • 1-2 yellow bell peppers
  • 4 Asian eggplant or 2 Italian eggplant
  • 2-4 small zucchini
  • 18 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 6 large fresh cremini mushrooms, peeled or brushed clean
  • 2 heads Treviso radicchio, quartered lengthwise
  • 6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup assorted finely chopped fresh herbs,
    such as flat-leaf parsley and basil

Directions:

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, combine the shallot, vinegar, lemon juice and mustard. Whisk in the olive oil, then add the parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid.Place the red and yellow bell peppers on the grill rack and grill, turning, until the skins blacken and blister. Place in a brown paper bag, close tightly and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the peppers and peel off the charred skin. Remove the stems, seeds and ribs. Cut the peppers into 1/2-inch slices. Place on a large serving platter.Cut the eggplant and zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Lightly coat with nonstick olive oil cooking spray and grill, turning once, until softened and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Place on the platter.

Lightly coat the asparagus spears and tomato halves with cooking spray. Add any other delicate vegetables you are using, such as the radicchio, mushrooms, etc. Grill, turning once, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes for the asparagus, 8 minutes for the tomatoes. Arrange attractively with the other vegetables on the platter. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the fresh herbs. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 6 to 8.
[ALTERNATE VERSION-VEDURAS A LA PLANCHA OR VEGETABLES ON THE GRIDDLE]
Heat the griddle to ver hot and add a dash of olive oil.  Follow directions above.  You can also do them in the broiler setting of your oven turning once.  If you don’t want to go to the trouble of the vinaigrette, just serve with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Some Spaniards serve with alioli.