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Have You Tried Grilled Vegetables?

June 5, 2009

The Fourth of July is approaching and I would like to challenge each of you grilled veggiesto try adding vegetables to your grill. I know it may not sound tasty, but I’ve found I eat more vegetables when they are grilled. Try it! I did.

Patsy Cunningham, owner of Cunningham’s Memphis Gourmet Sauces provided a great recipe including grilled vegetables and I thought it was so great I couldn’t help but share. First, I would like to share tips on how to prepare vegetables before grilling:

  • Trim and wash vegetables.
  • Cut vegetables in half or into thick slices. Each piece should be about 1/2 inch thick for hard vegetables.
  • Either use a marinade or brush vegetables lightly with oil.
  • Preheat grill to a medium heat.
  • Place small vegetables on skewers or use a grilling basket. Larger pieces can be placed right on the grate.
  • Turn vegetables frequently and brush with additional marinade or oil to prevent drying.
  • Remove vegetables when the skin begins to blister and the middle becomes soft.
  • Different vegetables will take different amounts of time to cook. Plan on grilling for 5 to 20 minutes. Remove when done and serve.
  • A vegetable marinade should be mostly oil with lemon or lime juice and your desired seasonings.
  • Watch vegetables on the grill closely to avoid excessive charring.

GRILLED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM SANDWICHES WITH BARBECUE SAUCE

The portobello mushroom has become the fin de siècle “steak,” a grilled vegetable alternative to beef. The broad fleshy mushroom cap has a rich meaty flavor and luckily, portobellos are available at most supermarkets and gourmet shops. To this, add a semi-sweet barbecue sauce and you’ve got a sandwich that tap dances on your taste buds!

Ingredients

4 Large portobello mushrooms, wiped clean with dampened paper towels
3 Cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers                                                                                       leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Large fresh, ripe tomato, cut crosswise into ½ -inch slices
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 Onion rolls, hamburger buns, or 5-inch sections of baguettes, split
Cunningham’s Memphis Gourmet Semi-Sweet Barbecue Sauce
1 Bunch arugula, rinsed, dry

Preparation

1. Preheat the grill to high.
2. Cut the stems off the mushrooms flush with the caps. Using the tip of a paring knife, make tiny holes in the caps, and insert the garlic slivers and rosemary leaves (if using). Combine the oil and vinegar in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Generously brush the portobello caps and tomato slices with the mixture and season with salt and pepper.
3. When almost ready to cook, preheat a vegetable grate for 5 minutes. Arrange the portobello caps, rounded side down, and the tomato slices on the hot grate and grill, turning with a spatula, until nicely browned and soft, 3 to 6 minutes per side. Brush the vegetables once or twice as they cook with the oil and vinegar mixture.
4. Spread the insides of the rolls or bread with Cunningham’s Memphis Gourmet Semi-Sweet Sauce. Add the grilled vegetables and arugula and serve immediately. Serves 4

Remember Cunningham’s sauces can be purchased at Publix.

If you would like to share a recipe, story or comment, feel free to email: deank@doacs.state.fl.us. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

photo from flickr

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Nicole permalink
    June 9, 2009 11:54 am

    Thanks for the tips and recipe!

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