Imagine a platter of vibrant red and sunny yellow sweet peppers and grilled purple eggplant slices, with fresh basil leaves as a garnish. This colorful vegetable mix is my fallback summer dish, for lunch and dinner. A large platter of these on a buffet table or served family-style can become the centerpiece for your meal. Serve this with any grilled meat, fish, or poultry. If you have leftovers, there are many ways to include these in other dishes.
This dish shows off the vegetables’ exquisite simplicity when grilled. It’s a basic recipe that you can put your own signature on. Add sliced zucchini or wheels of cut corn cobs if you like a larger array of vegetables. Feel free to drizzle these colorful gems with your favorite vinaigrette or the simple drizzle in the recipe. Add a sprinkling of fresh herbs of your choice, crumbled goat or feta cheese, or shards of thinly sliced Parmesan cheese to finish the platter.
Grilled Sweet Peppers and Eggplant With Olive Oil Balsamic DrizzleServes 8
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 yellow bell peppers
- 4 Japanese eggplants, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- Olive oil for brushing the eggplant
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- Fresh basil leaves
2. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and grill on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the eggplant slices have grill marks and feel soft. Remove to a plate. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Arrange the eggplant slices in the center of a large shallow platter, overlapping if necessary, leaving room on the outside area of the platter. Spoon the peppers into groups around the eggplant. Drizzle the top with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and garnish with the basil leaves.
Leftover peppers can be puréed with some olive oil and a touch of balsamic for a silky sauce that’s great over chicken, shrimp, or pasta.
Use any remaining vegetables as a base for a chopped salad. Chop the vegetables up, and add chopped arugula and romaine lettuce. Dress with your favorite vinaigrette. Add cooked chicken or shrimp for a more substantial main course salad.
Purée leftover vegetables with vegetable broth and fresh herbs and chill. Serve as a cold soup.
Use any remaining peppers and eggplant for sandwiches.