Grilled Antipasto on a Stick 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Smoke Signals Aug 27, 2014

Take the idea of those myriad grilled vegetables in olive oil you see in display cases at trattorias all over Italy and put them together on skewers. 

The eggplant and zucchini coins should lie flat on the grate. You will probably have parts of vegetables left over. Reserve them for another use.

Skewering the vegetables makes for an easy way to give each dinner guest her own antipasto. That said, mixing them together on a platter makes for a grand presentation for the table. Your choice.

You'll need to soak six 12-inch bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

Make Ahead: The vegetables can be grilled and dressed up to 6 hours before serving, kept covered with plastic wrap and served at room temperature. 


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: 6 servings

  • For the dressing
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped or torn basil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • For the kebabs
  • 1 small eggplant (8 ounces), sliced into 3 rounds, each 1/2-inch thick, then quartered
  • 1 medium zucchini (10 ounces), sliced into 6 rounds, each 1/2-inch thick, then cut in half
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 12 equal pieces
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 6 sections, small inner layers removed
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them under the cooking area for direct heat. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Just before cooking, use a little vegetable oil to grease the grate.

For the dressing: Whisk together the garlic, oregano, parsley, basil, oil, vinegar, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes in a bowl.

For the kebabs: Thread the eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper, onion and cherry tomatoes onto the skewers. You will have one section of onion and two of every other vegetable on each skewer. Brush with the oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Arrange the kebabs on the grill. Cook, uncovered, over direct heat, until charred in spots, about 4 to 5 minutes, then use tongs to turn them; grill for 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to individual plates; drizzle a little of the dressing on them. Alternatively, you can either combine all the vegetables together or set them in individual groups on a platter and drizzle with the dressing. Serve.

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Recipe Source

From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.

Tested by Andy Sikkenga.

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