Blogging Marathon #76 Week 1 Day 3
Theme: Vegetarian Grilling Recipes
Dish: Super Quick Balsamic Grilled Vegetables
Lots of vegetables, a simple marinade, a super hot grill and this post. All you need to make your summers memorable!
Is grilling only for people who eat non vegetarian? Can vegetarians only make paneer tikka on the grill? Or grill a few patty and enjoy? These were questions I had in mind before I ventured out into vegetarian grilling.
Whenever I was on a grilling trip with my friends, we always saw people around us grilling TONS of meat. We almost always have skewers of yogurt marinated paneer, peppers and onions! Or it is our signature grilled pizza.
All my misconceptions about grilling changed when I went to a bbq party not long ago. A friend had about 20 of us in his backyard and lots of Vegetarian grilled dishes. From portobello mushrooms to eggplants, onions, zucchini and pineapple; we grilled it all. And better still, it had no complex marination or skewers to deal with.
We marinated some of the vegetables in salt and pepper, a few in balsamic vinegar and the rest with just olive oil and garlic powder. All the marinated vegetables were grilled directly on the grill, without any skewers. The result was a platter with varying flavors and colors. We enjoyed everything with balsamic vinegar, tomato ketchup and mustard sauce.
Since then I have tried multiple simple glazes with my vegetables. And I have almost ditched paneer and tofu from my grilling plans. No more planning for hours to host a barbeque party. It only takes a few minutes to prepare the marinades, seconds to cover the vegetables with it and a fe minutes to grill them. And to eat you ask? All the grilled vegetables vanish within seconds!
A few pointers for Grilling
Based on all the grilling I have done, I have a few points to keep in mind before you start grilling. Here they are:
- Use fresh vegetables. Withered vegetables dry up quickly on the grill and result in dry grilled vegetables.
- Make a marinade that is not very thick. If it is thick, it will not spread evenly on the vegetables and result in uneven grilled vegetables.
- Marinade the vegetables at room temperature for an hour or so. In intending to marinade overnight, refrigerate the marinated vegetables.
- I like to use a non stick grilling mat on the grill. That way the vegetables do not stick to the grill yet can be made with minimum oil.
- Wait for the grill to heat up before starting to grill. The char is better on the vegetables when placed on a hot grill.
With all this information, you can start grilling right away! But before you head out, make sure you read this recipe of Balsamic Marinated Vegetables.
The recipe includes vegetables that are perfect on the grill. I used the ones I had at hand. However, corn, asparagus, artichoke hearts and brussel sprouts grill really well too. The marinade has just a few ingredients, all of which are generally available in the pantry. If you like to add some herbs like oregano or basil, add that to the marinade. Reserve the extra marinade and use it to make delicious bruschettas!
Eggplant 2-3 slices
Pink Onion 2-3 slices
Broccoli 4-5 florets
Cherry Tomatoes 10-12
Peppers 5-6 slices
Cauliflower 5-6 florets
Mushrooms 4-5 sliced
For the marinade
Balsamic Vinegar ¼ cup
Olive Oil ¼ cup
Garlic 2-3 cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Wash and chop all the vegetables. In a bowl mix together all the ingredients under dressing. Add all the tomatoes on a skewer.
In a gallon size ziploc bag add all the vegetables. Pour in the dressing and mix well. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes to upto 12 hours.
When ready to grill, place a grilling mat on the grill. Place the vegetables in a single layer and brush some marination from the bag.
Grill till the vegetables are charred. Generally the tomatoes take 4-5 minutes and the remaining vegetables are ready in 6-7 minutes. Turn them over in about 3 minutes.
Once completely grilled, remove and enjoy. I served them with some grilled tortillas. The combination is perfect!