EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Garden to Grill
When the FRESHEST VEGETABLES meet the heat, magic happens
Grilled Wedge Salads with Buttermilk-Blue Cheese Dressing

LETTUCE

Unlike kale or romaine, iceberg lettuce is made for the grill because its high water content keeps it from drying out and shriveling over the flames. Oil the cut sides of the lettuce wedges, and keep a close eye on them as they cook—they can go from nicely charred to burnt in minutes.

Grilled Wedge Salads with Buttermilk-Blue Cheese Dressing

ACTIVE 20 MIN. - TOTAL 20 MIN.

SERVES 4

2 ½ oz. blue cheese, crumbled (about ⅔ cup)
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup whole buttermilk
1 ½ tsp. white wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
½ tsp. black pepper, divided
1 small (about 6 oz.) head iceberg lettuce, outer leaves removed, head quartered through the core
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 thick-cut bacon slices, cooked and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives

1. Preheat a gas grill to medium (350°F to 400°F). Meanwhile, mash cheese in a medium bowl using a whisk. Whisk in mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, vinegar, lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Set aside dressing.

2. Brush lettuce wedges evenly with oil, and sprinkle with remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Place wedges, cut sides down, on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, until lettuce edges are browned and grill marks form, about 3 minutes per cut side.

3. Transfer grilled wedges to a serving platter. Drizzle wedges evenly with dressing, and sprinkle with bacon and chives before serving.

Grilled Baby Eggplant Parmesan

BABY EGGPLANT

Baby eggplant is ideal for grilling because it has tender skin and is less fibrous and tough than the larger kind. Make sure the cut sides are evenly coated with oil to prevent them from sticking to the grates. You can tell eggplant is done cooking when the flesh changes from white to golden brown and is tender when pierced with a knife.

Grilled Baby Eggplant Parmesan

ACTIVE 20 MIN. - TOTAL 30 MIN.

SERVES 4

4 small (10 to 12 oz. each) eggplants, halved lengthwise
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 cup jarred marinara sauce
2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about ½ cup)
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
¼ cup small fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F) on 1 side. Sprinkle cut sides of eggplants evenly with ½ teaspoon of the salt, and let stand 10 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.

2. Brush cut sides of eggplants evenly with oil, and sprinkle with pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Place eggplants, cut sides down, on oiled grates over lit side of grill. Grill, covered, until eggplants are tender and grill marks appear, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn eggplants. Cook, covered, 5 minutes.

3. Move eggplants to oiled grates over unlit side of grill, and top evenly with marinara, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and mozzarella. Grill, covered, until cheeses are melted and bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle evenly with basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Grilled Hot-Pepper Sauce

Grilled Bell Pepper Caprese

Grilled Stuffed Poblanos

 

HOT AND SWEET PEPPERS

The secret to great grilled peppers is in the peeling. Unless you’re making kebabs, grilled peppers (large or small, mild or spicy) taste better without their skins. Char them on all sides, and then place the hot cooked peppers in a heavy-duty ziplock plastic bag for 10 minutes. The trapped steam will loosen the skins so they can be easily peeled away from the flesh.

Grilled Hot-Pepper Sauce

ACTIVE 10 MIN. - TOTAL 20 MIN.

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP

Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Place 2 medium jalapeño chiles, 2 medium serrano chiles, and 1 stemmed and seeded medium-size red bell pepper on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, turning occasionally, 7 minutes. Transfer chiles and bell pepper to a heavy-duty ziplock plastic bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes. Remove and discard skins from chiles and bell pepper. Place chiles and bell pepper, ⅓ cup red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. water, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and 1 small garlic clove in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Use immediately, or store pepper sauce in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Grilled Bell Pepper Caprese

ACTIVE 20 MIN. - TOTAL 30 MIN.

SERVES 4

5 large multicolored bell peppers
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
8 oz. fresh small mozzarella cheese balls (such as pearls)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
½ cup torn fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat grill to medium (350°F to 400°F). Trim and discard tops and bottoms from bell peppers; remove and discard seeds and white membranes using a paring knife. Slice each bell pepper in half lengthwise. Brush evenly with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Place bell peppers, skin sides down, on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, until charred, about 7 minutes. Turn bell peppers; grill until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large heavy-duty ziplock plastic bag. Seal and let stand 10 minutes.

2. Remove bell peppers from bag. Remove and discard skins. Chop bell peppers into ¾- to 1-inch pieces. Transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Top peppers with mozzarella, and drizzle with lime juice and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with basil before serving.

Grilled Stuffed Poblanos

ACTIVE 45 MIN. - TOTAL 45 MIN.

SERVES 4

8 medium poblano chiles
5 ears fresh yellow corn, shucked
2 Tbsp. butter
1 (15-oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (2 tsp.)
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
Pico de gallo

1. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F) on 1 side. Place poblano chiles and corn on oiled grates over lit side of grill. Cover grill. Grill poblanos, turning once, until skins are charred, about 5 minutes per side. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until charred, about 5 minutes per side. Remove poblanos and corn from grill.

2. Transfer poblanos to a heavy-duty ziplock plastic bag. Seal and let stand 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, let corn cool 5 minutes. Cut kernels from cobs, discarding cobs. Set aside kernels.

4. Remove poblanos from plastic bag. Remove and discard skins, keeping stems intact. Working with 1 at a time, make a lengthwise slit down side of poblano, starting at the stem and being careful to not cut through the other side of the pepper. Carefully remove and discard seeds and membrane. Set aside poblanos.

5. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high until melted and foamy. Add peas. Cook, stirring often, until hot, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved corn kernels, garlic, salt, cumin, and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro and oregano. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.

6. Spoon pea mixture evenly into poblanos, pulling sides of each chile around the filling to enclose. Transfer poblanos to a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Place on unlit side of grill. Grill, covered, until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately with pico de gallo on the side for topping.

Grilled Baby Zucchini-and-Tomato Salad

Grilled Shrimp-and-Squash Pasta with Summer Herbs

Grilled Yellow Squash Roll-Ups

 

SUMMER SQUASH

Two rules apply for zucchini or yellow squash: Cook it fast, and serve it quickly. Whether you’re grilling in a basket or straight on the grate, it needs only a few minutes over the flames, so pull it off before it gets too charred. Then serve it soon to keep it from turning soggy.

Grilled Baby Zucchini-and-Tomato Salad

ACTIVE 25 MIN. - TOTAL 25 MIN.

SERVES 4

¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. minced shallot (from 1 small shallot)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
½ tsp. black pepper, divided
10-12 baby zucchini (about 12 oz.), cut in half lengthwise
3 oz. day-old sourdough bread, sliced ¾ inch thick
1 medium garlic clove, halved crosswise
1 pt. multicolored cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup torn fresh mixed basil and flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Stir together vinegar, shallot, mustard, and honey in a small bowl, and let stand 10 minutes. Whisk in thyme, 3 tablespoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper until combined.

2. Toss together zucchini, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Place zucchini on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, until zucchini are tender and grill marks appear, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a medium bowl.

3. Brush remaining 1 tablespoon oil evenly over both sides of bread slices. Place bread on grates; grill until slightly charred and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Rub grilled bread on both sides with garlic halves. Discard garlic, or reserve for another use. Tear bread into 1-inch pieces.

4. Add tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar-shallot mixture to zucchini in bowl, and gently toss to coat. Spoon tomato-zucchini mixture onto a serving platter. Top with torn grilled bread, and sprinkle with basil and parsley. Serve immediately alongside remaining vinegar-shallot mixture.

Grilled Shrimp-and-Squash Pasta with Summer Herbs

ACTIVE 30 MIN. - TOTAL 30 MIN.

SERVES 4

8 oz. uncooked casarecce (or penne) pasta
2 ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
3 small zucchini, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
3 small yellow squash, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 tsp. black pepper, divided
1 ½ lb. large peeled, deveined raw shrimp
½ cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
½ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh chives
2 Tbsp. butter, softened

1. Prepare pasta in boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt according to package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Toss together zucchini, squash, 1 tablespoon of the oil, ¾ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper in a large bowl. Toss together shrimp and remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper in a separate bowl. Arrange zucchini and squash in a single layer in a metal grilling basket. Place grilling basket on unoiled grates. Grill, covered, until slightly charred and tender, about 3 minutes per side.

3. Place shrimp directly on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, until slightly charred and pink, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside.

4. Toss together zucchini, squash, shrimp, pasta, reserved pasta cooking water, parsley, basil, mint, and chives in a large bowl. Add butter, and toss until butter is melted. Serve immediately.

Grilled Yellow Squash Roll-Ups

ACTIVE 25 MIN. - TOTAL 25 MIN.

SERVES 8

2 large yellow squash (about 1 lb.)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt, divided
3 oz. goat cheese
2 tsp. lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
30 fresh basil leaves (about 1 cup loosely packed)

1. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Cut squash lengthwise into 30 (¼-inch-thick) slices total using a mandoline or a sharp knife. (Discard remaining squash, or reserve for another use.) Brush squash slices evenly with oil on both sides, and sprinkle both sides with pepper and 1 teaspoon of the salt.

2. Place slices on oiled grates; grill, uncovered, until slices are tender and grill marks appear, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill.

3. Stir together goat cheese, lemon zest, tarragon, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

4. Spoon ½ teaspoon cheese mixture onto 1 grilled squash slice about ½ inch from 1 end. Top cheese with 1 basil leaf, and roll up the squash slice. Place roll-up, seam side down, on a serving platter. Repeat process with remaining cheese mixture, squash slices, and basil leaves. Serve chilled or at room temperature.