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Mixed Grilled Vegetable Antipasto

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Our recipe here includes a set of grilled vegetables including eggplant, green and red bell peppers and zucchini.  Antipasto is Italian for appetizer, in particular a course of mixed foods.  It never fails to make for an impressive serving plate, not to mention the taste, of course!

The approach is versatile to a wide variety of vegetables, so feel free to use any vegetables you prefer.  It is traditionally served warm or chilled, allowing you to prepare this conveniently in advance.

I prefer putting flesh side down first when I grill my vegetables, so that the second part of cooking keeps the juices in the vegetable.

I am omitting the amounts, as it is fairly straightforward how much it will produce.  In other words, you can make this just as easily for a two person portion or for a big family luncheon by simply including as much as you want to serve.

Look over the Tips section below before you get too far along, as the diversity of vegetables warrant looking at some of this advice.

Ingredients:Mixed Grilled Vegetable Antipasto

  • Zuchinni
  • Red bell peppers
  • Green bell peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning, to taste

Directions:

  1. Slice the zucchini (same with squash) long ways in 1/2 inch strips
  2. Slice the sides of the bell peppers so you are left with flat sections
  3. Optionally peel the eggplant if desired.  Slice the eggplant cross-wise in 1/2 inch strips
  4. Heat your grill on high
  5. On a big serving dish, place the vegetables and drizzle lightly with the olive oil.  Mix around so everything is coated relatively well—your hands are probably the easiest to use (See tip 1)
  6. Sprinkle the Montreal Steak Seasoning over the vegetables (See tip 2)
  7. With some tongs, spread out the vegetables on the grill and cook 3-5 minutes each side, until they have the softness and charring you desire (See tip 3).  Denser vegetables will take longer to cook, of course

Tips:

  1. Be careful with the eggplant, as it will magically absorb all the olive oil you will throw at it.  To keep it light I drizzle a little on each eggplant slice and immediately spread it with my other hand
  2. You can sprinkle on as much seasoning as your taste prefers, but I find that sprinkling both sides of the eggplant is simply too much.  So, I keep it to just one side of the medallions
  3. I prefer putting flesh side down first when I grill my vegetables, so that the second part of cooking keeps the juices in the vegetable.

Notes:Anticipation before the grilling!

If you have favorite vegetables, use them.  If you keep an eye out for what’s on sale at your grocer’s produce department, use that.  As a tip for your own enjoyment and for presenting an impressive dish to others, good food is appealing to the eyes and nose, not just the mouth.  The grilling adds great smells.  Colorful vegetables help the eyes.  For example, red peppers, green zucchini, purple and tan eggplant, yellow squash—especially with nice grill marks all over.  Textures also appeal to the eyes, such as artichokes, broccoli, asparagus, brussell sprouts.
 
Grilled asparagus is very tasty, prepared with the seasoning and olive oil just like above.  If you want to try broccoli, steam it lightly beforehand, as otherwise it will burn before getting soft enough. Experiment and enjoy a great way to eat vegetables!

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