The Washington Post

Grilled Antipasti

Grilled Antipasti 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; surface courtesy Stone Source of Washington, D.C.

Smoke Signals May 24, 2016

A platter of grilled zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper and onion makes for a super-easy summertime appetizer or, with some salumi and cheese, a light dinner.

You’ll need a small smoker box and 1 cup of hardwood chips, such as apple, oak, or pecan. No need to soak.

Serve with crusty bread and a glass of rosé.

Make Ahead: The dressing can be refrigerated up to 4 days in advance. The grilled and dressed antipasti can be refrigerated a day in advance; bring to room temperature before serving.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the dressing
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaping teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon garlic, minced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • For the vegetables
  • Olive oil cooking spray or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 12-ounce eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds (about 12 to 14 rounds)
  • One 12-ounce zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices (about 5 slices)
  • One 12-ounce yellow squash, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (4 or 5 slices)
  • One 12-ounce sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (4 or 5 rounds)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


For the dressing: Combine the vinegar and salt in a small bowl; let sit for a minute or two, then slowly whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil, oregano, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, stirring to incorporate.

For the vegetables: Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to high. Put the chips in a smoker box (or make an aluminum foil packet poked with a few fork holes to release the smoke); set it between the grate and the briquettes, close to the flame. Once you see smoke, reduce the heat to medium (375 to 400 degrees).

If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them on the grill. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand 6 inches above the coals for 6 or 7 seconds. Scatter the wood chips over the coals. Close the lid and open the vents about a quarter of the way. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Use olive oil cooking spray to lightly coat the vegetables, or brush them lightly with olive oil. Arrange the vegetables directly over the hot coals. Once the skin of the red bell pepper blackens on one side, which should take 3 to 4 minutes, turn it to another side; the whole process will take between 8 to 10 minutes. Once the other vegetables have browned and charred just a little (3 to 5 minutes), turn them over to cook for 3 to 5 minutes on the second side. Use tongs to transfer them to a platter.

Once the bell pepper is cool enough to handle, peel/discard its charred skin. Core and seed the remaining flesh. Pat it dry with a paper towel, then cut the bell pepper into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Pat it dry again.

Arrange the vegetables on the platter, gathering the bell pepper slices in a little mound, if you like. Spoon the dressing over the vegetables, turning to coat well. Garnish with the parsley; cover with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature if serving within a couple of hours. Otherwise, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day in advance; bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe Source

From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.

Tested by Jim Shahin and Andrew Sikkenga.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 210

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 15g 23%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 160mg 7%

Total Carbohydrates: 21g 7%

Dietary Fiber: 6g 24%

Sugar: 12g

Protein: 4g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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