Grilled Vegetable Platter with Picnic Vinaigrette

August 20, 2012 by andrea | Filed under Grilling/BBQ, Recipes, Side Dish, Summer, Vegetable, Vegetarian.

It’s time to seek out your nearest farmers’ market or farm stand and load up on fresh produce! This versatile recipe for grilled veggies is a perfect way to take advantage of the wonderful summer harvest, and can be served as a side dish to any grilled meat, or added to pastas and paninis. Simple flavors, but oh so tasty!

The recipe calls for red and yellow bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, and plum tomatoes but you can use what you like. I chose to grill zucchini, yellow summer squash, red and orange bell peppers, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, and Walla Walla Sweet Onions. In my opinion, a grilled veggie platter must have grilled onions!

Drizzle the grilled veggies with the tangy, herb-spiked vinaigrette and enjoy!

Grilled Vegetable Platter with Picnic Vinaigrette
-recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Outdoors Series, Picnics and Tailgates, by Diane Rossen Worthington

Grilled seasonal vegetables make a colorful and festive beginning to a picnic or other outdoor gathering.

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

2 red bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
4 Asian eggplant
4 zucchini
18 asparagus spears, trimmed and peeled, if desired
6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup assorted finely chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley and basil

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 (or place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap). 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. 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.

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