A vibrant, grilled vegetable platter bursting with the best of summer’s bounty is delicious enough all on it’s own. Served with a zippy basil vinaigrette and creamy burrata cheese, it’s outta this world!
I love my grill. I’m not a grilling guru by any means, but I can still churn out some good stuff (even if my husband thinks I always have the heat on too high!). Yes, I prefer my simple, “turn on the gas and get it going quickly” setup. Whether you’re a die-hard coal-is-the-only-way griller, or a more casual griller like me, there is something about cooking outside over fire that is so satisfying! Lucky for all of us, the grilling season is full on!
I’ve got to admit though, I get “griller’s block” sometimes. Yes, I just made that up if you couldn’t tell! Do you ever get stuck, as I do, trying to figure out what the heck to put on those grates? Too many chicken breasts, hot dogs and sausages get boring, and while I adore grilled vegetables, I find myself wanting more. What can I grill that is different and exciting?
My mom taught me how to make this herby dressing over 25 years ago, and I use it all of the time on summer salads. It’s especially nice with crisp lettuce tossed with corn, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. But using it in this application is genius! It’s the perfect thing to elevate the simple grilled eggplant, zucchini, peppers and asparagus into something crave-worthy.
For those nights when you want a simple-to-make side that tastes like you worked really hard on it, these veggies are it. The sauce couldn’t be easier! Just put everything into the blender and give it a whirl, then refrigerate until ready to serve. The burrata cheese contributes a lovely creamy contrast to the vibrant basil vinaigrette, but if you’d rather not have the dairy then leave it off.
Are there any substitutions?
- If you want to swap out any of the vedge, or double up on one that you love, go for it. Grilled radicchio would be nice, or you could try broccoli rabe (par-boil first in salted water to soften and reduce bitterness).
- If you don’t have a grill, you could pan fry or roast the vegetables instead. Peppers and asparagus will do better in the oven, and zucchini and eggplant are great sauteed in olive oil.
Any tips or tricks?
Giving exact grilling instructions is impossible. You know your grill, how to heat and operate it, and where it’s hotspots are. I don’t give exact times for when the vegetables will be done, because you’ll need to use your instincts. Also, you know how you like them. Eggplant needs to be cooked through so that it is completely softened, but asparagus, zucchini and the peppers can all be done to your liking. I prefer super soft bell peppers, but others in my family like them with a little crunch. Your call!
Grilled Mixed Vegetables with Burrata & Basil Vinaigrette
For the vegetables
- 2 large zucchini sliced lengthwise ¼ inch thick
- 2 medium eggplant sliced ¼ inch thick
- 3 red yellow, or orange bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into 3-4 pieces along the ribs
- 1 bunch asparagus woody ends trimmed
- 1 8- ounce ball of burrata or fresh mozzarella
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
For the vinaigrette
- 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves crushed
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Prepare your grill.
- Make the vinaigrette. Put all of the ingredients into a blender. Puree for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Place your cut vegetables onto a large sheet pan. Brush both sides of all of the vegetables with olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place the vegetables on your grill over medium heat. Turn them every few minutes, checking the heat so that they do not burn. When the vegetables are soft and cooked through, remove to a serving platter.
- Tear the burrata or fresh mozzarella into large chunks and place over top of the warm vegetables. Drizzle about half of the vinaigrette over everything, then serve warm, or set aside for up to an hour and serve at room temperature. Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side.