grilled vegetable kabobs
I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who can wander through the grocery or farmers market and spontaneously plan a meal based on what looks good. But I’m not. I’m more the kind of person who, if she doesn’t have a carefully crafted list in hand, will come home with a random assortment of lovely-looking stuff, none of which has any business being on the same plate.
So while ordinarily I try to have at least a general idea of what I might like to make before coming into close contact with vegetables, it doesn’t always work out that way. Like on my last trip to the farmers market, for example.
I was accompanied by my mom, who doesn’t particularly enjoy cooking or even eating, but who really likes buying things. She’s also the kind of person who keeps four bottles of ketchup on hand. Just in case.
So it should really come as no surprise to anyone that our unsupervised visit to the farmers market yielded thirteen ears of corn, a pound of eggplant, two pints of cherry tomatoes, a pound of zucchini, two pounds of squash, five large onions, several peppers, and two pounds of potatoes. Oh, and no plan.
Fortunately, my family was visiting. Because A) as crafty as I may be, there’s no way in hell I could trick Chris into eating that many vegetables and B) these grilled vegetable kabobs have been a summertime staple at my house ever since one of us clipped the recipe out of some now-forgotten magazine years ago.
Although the balsamic marinade gives the vegetables a delicious sweet-tanginess and the grill imparts the perfect amount of charred smokiness, I suspect our affinity for these kabobs lies in the fact that you can do all your chopping in the morning, head to the beach for the rest of the day, come home after sunset and have dinner on the table before anyone’s even finished their first cocktail. Plus did I mention they’re exceedingly yummy? Like summer on a stick.
Grilled Vegetable Kabobs
5 c. vegetables (squash, onions, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, etc.)
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. chopped tomato
2 T. maple syrup (the real stuff, not that Mrs. Butterworth’s® crap)
2 T. chopped fresh herbs (basil and thyme are nice)
1 T. lemon juice
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1) Cut the vegetables into bite-size pieces or leave them whole, depending on their shape. (For example, you’d want to chop up zucchini but not so much the cherry tomatoes.) Place them in a large bowl.
2) Whisk together the remaining ingredients, pour the marinade over the vegetables and stir to coat. Refrigerate.
3) Sit on the beach and have a few beers, allowing the vegetables to marinate for several hours (anywhere from 1 to 24 hours of marinating will do).
4) Thread the vegetables onto bamboo or metal skewers. If you’re using bamboo skewers, it’s a good idea to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes so they don’t catch on fire when you put them on the grill.
5) Grill the kabobs over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, turning once.