I'm always dismayed when people grill cherry tomatoes, onions and squash on the same skewer and expect a good result. For simplicity's sake, I've done away with the skewers here, but the vegetables are being kept separate so each one can be grilled to the proper doneness - no more disappearing tomatoes and raw onions. Of course, you don't have to make all of these vegetables. Choose the ones you like. Then, after they have been grilled, arrange them on a platter in stripes of vibrant colors or gently toss them in a clear serving bowl.
Servings: 6 - 8
- For the marinade
- 1 bunch thyme
- 1 bunch rosemary
- 1 bunch oregano
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- For the vegetables
- 3 red, yellow and green (1 of each) bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
- 1 medium red onion, halved, each half cut into thirds and separated into 1-inch squares
- 4 green and yellow (2 of each) winter squash, tops and bottoms trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch disks
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 8 ounces medium button mushrooms, stems trimmed even with caps
- 1 1/2 pounds baby fingerling potatoes or red baby potatoes, cooked and cooled (optional)*
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Have ready several large resealable plastic food storage bags and a grilling basket.
In a large bowl with a pouring spout, gently crush the herbs with your hands to release their oils. Add the other marinade ingredients and whisk to combine. Place the peppers in one of the bags, and put the other vegetables -- onion, squash, tomatoes, mushrooms and potatoes, if desired -- in separate bags. Pour some of the marinade into each of the bags (add the marinade to the mushrooms just before grilling if you'd rather have them firm than soft), seal and gently shake to coat evenly. Let the vegetables marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes but no longer than 1 hour.
If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high. If using a charcoal grill, distribute the hot charcoal or wood briquettes evenly under the cooking area for direct heat. Lightly coat a grill basket with nonstick spray oil.
Drain the marinade from each bag and remove any herb sprigs that may be stuck to the vegetables so they don't burn during grilling. Add the vegetables, in turn, to the grill basket and grill separately, tossing once, to better control their doneness. As each is done, transfer to a large serving platter or bowl. The peppers will need about 5 minutes and should have grill marks but still be firm; same with the squash. The onion also requires about 5 minutes and should be slightly charred. The tomatoes take 1 to 2 minutes, just until their skin blisters. The mushrooms and precooked potatoes each require about 3 minutes. Serve at room temperature or reheat in a hot oven for a few minutes. Sprinkle chopped parsley over all.
Adapted from recipe by chef and restaurateur David Hagedorn.
Tested by Marcia Kramer.
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