Grilled Vegetable Stacks 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Nourish Aug 27, 2015

Here, the vegetables that make up a classic ratatouille -- zucchini, eggplant, onion, peppers, tomatoes -- are grilled, then piled into stunning stacks that are showered with fresh basil. The dish’s simple elegance and make-ahead friendliness make it ideal for easy entertaining, and the unbeatable vegetable-meets-grill flavor really shines through.

The vegetables can be cooked in a grill pan on the stove top as well, over medium-high heat; cook the individual types of vegetables in separate batches.

Make Ahead: The vegetables can be grilled in advance and kept separate (between layers of plastic wrap or wax paper) in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before stacking and serving.


Servings:
4

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

Ingredients
  • 1 small eggplant (about 8 ounces), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • 3 medium firm ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded (optional) and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, stacked, then rolled tightly and cut crosswise into ribbons (chiffonade)

Directions

Prepare the grill for direct heat or preheat a gas grill to medium-high (400 to 450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal; once the coals are ready, distribute them evenly in the cooking area. For a medium fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 4 to 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Brush all the sliced vegetables with oil on both sides, then season with the salt and pepper. Use a vegetable grilling basket or place them directly on the grill, in batches if needed. Close the lid and cook, turning them once or twice, until they have grill marks and are softened, about 10 minutes total for the eggplant; 7 or 8 minutes total for the zucchini, onion and bell pepper; and 6 minutes for the tomatoes. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly.

When ready to serve, drizzle the grilled vegetables with the vinegar. Arrange 3 or 4 slices each of zucchini and eggplant in a circle, overlapping slightly, on each plate. Top each with 2 slices of bell pepper, then 2 tomato slices and a few grilled onion rings.

Garnish with the basil ribbons.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.