Prep your veg before you wreck your veg! (See what we did there?) Vegetables lack fat, so when grilling, they need a coating to prevent them from burning or sticking and to stay moist. Prepare your vegetables for grilling by brushing them with oil (preferably vegetable oil, it has a high smoking point) or a flavoured oil blend like salad dressing, or your DIY mix of oil and herbs. Another option is to let them marinate for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
- 2 cloves garlic crushed to a paste
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh basil
- 1 large red onion peeled and root end trimmed slightly, leaving end intact
- 1 1/2 lb eggplant halved crosswise, then cut lengthwise into 1-inch thick strips
- 1 large bell pepper cut into 1-inch cubes
- 8 cherry tomatoes whole
- 4 12-inch skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes if wooden
Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking, medium-high heat. Whisk together garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and herbs in a large bowl; set aside 2/3 of marinade for brushing.
Halve onion lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Thread vegetables onto skewers (with small spaces between for even cooking).
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Set up a large bowl with ice and water to create an ice water bath.
Blanch skewers with vegetables for 1 minute in boiling, salted water. Remove skewers and put in ice water. When vegetables have cooled completely, drain well on paper towels and toss in reserved marinade.
Oil rack and carefully place skewers on the grill. Cover only if using a gas grill, turning occasionally with tongs and continuously brushing with marinade, until vegetables are very tender, 6 to 10 minutes. Serve warm with fresh tomato sauce.
-Vegetables can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat before serving. The purpose of blanching is to retain flavour, colour and texture of vegetables. Shocking, or putting blanched items in an ice water bath stops the cooking process.
Recipe by Chef Brian Lumley
Food Styling by Chef Lendave Burton
Photograph by Pop-Up Gourmet Jamaica