Grilled Vegetable Platter with Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

Grilled Vegetable Platter with Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

Easy to prepare and assemble, this vegetarian appetizer, salad, or main dish platter, has a rustic appearance and a vibrant flavor. It can be prepared hours ahead and kept at room temperature. It can also be doubled or tripled easily. Accompaniments include crusty bread and fresh goat cheese.

Makes 8 to 10 servings


2 pounds fresh asparagus
8 baby eggplants
4 large red bell peppers
2 pounds baby yellow pattypan squash
olive oil
fine kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 pints cherry tomatoes
fresh basil sprigs for garnish
Fresh Basil Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Coat two perforated grill racks or hinged grill baskets and a grill wok with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Prepare the vegetables. Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus. Trim the ends of the eggplants and cut each lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Seed the red bell peppers and cut each lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips. Place the asparagus, eggplant slices and bell pepper strips on the prepared grill racks. Place the squash in the prepared grill wok. Spray the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Have a large bowl ready near the grill. Toss the squash in the grill wok, using wooden grill paddles or a grill spatula, until tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grill the vegetables on the grill racks, turning with grill tongs, until tender and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

When the squash are done, transfer to the bowl and add the cherry tomatoes to the grill wok. Grill until the skins just begin to crack, about 5 minutes. When the asparagus, eggplant and bell peppers are done, transfer to the bowl. Add the tomatoes and set aside to cool slightly.

Arrange the vegetables on a large platter in a pleasing pattern or just a jumble, your preference. Garnish with the basil. Drizzle the Fresh Basil Vinaigrette (recipe below) over everything. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours.

Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

You will need a very large bunch (or three to four packages from the grocery store) to make one cup chopped basil, but this luscious vinaigrette is worth it. Because basil can discolor quickly, make this right before serving.

Makes about 2 cups


1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup finely chopped fresh basil
fine kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and shake to blend. Use as soon as you make it.

B-man :smiley: