Friday, June 25, 2010

Grilled Vegetables

"Zemblanity" is a new favorite word of mine. It's not totally new- I've known of its existence for about 10 months, but I don't know it well enough to use it (other than when it happens to pop up in my head, which doesn't technically count if we're keeping score).

It seems to be an extremely useful word, but when I think to use this particular word I can't seem to remember it. I do, however, remember the actual word on a rare occasion every now and then when I don't need it.

It's terribly obscure, yes. It's also fun to say.

By definition,"zemblanity" is a noun meaning the accidental discovery of something bad (or something you would rather not know). See? Great word.

I personally think of those times when you might find out about a situation or something about another person which would cause you to (internally) roll your eyes, shake your head, sigh, and WISH you hadn't just learned what you did. Zemblanity happens all the time...

It's the opposite of serendipity in case you were wondering.

It also has nothing whatsoever to do with vegetables. I'm not implying anything here.

Anyway, I think grilling may be the most perfect ways to cook vegetables.
Nothing too fancy, just fire.

Another outdoor-cooking lesson for the summer...
Not a lot of preparation is needed, you can have a large and colorful variety, cooking at the same time and the same place, and the only thing you really have to do is pay attention to when each variety is finished cooking. Not too hard! It's pretty much like you would do with anything you were grilling- if something is finished you take it off the fire or turn it, if not, you leave it there to cook longer.
Plus, vegetables taste great when they're grilled.

Make sure to have everything prepped and ready to go- this will make things much easier.
You also want to have some long-handled tongs to make it easier to move the veggies around and so you don't get burned.

Grilling baskets are an option, but not everyone has one (and they're really not necessary).

Grilled Vegetables

olive oil
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
vegetables of your choice such as bell peppers, thick asparagus (so they can be skewered without breaking), portobello mushrooms, onion, eggplant (small ones taste better)...

Clean vegetables.
Remove stems from mushrooms, ribs and stems from peppers, stems from eggplant. Cut eggplant into rounds about 1/2 inch thick and onion into rounds 1/2-1 inch thick. Cut peppers into 6 to 8 strips, depending on the size of the pepper.
If using asparagus, it's easiest if you can make a "raft" with the asparagus and two skewers- this way you can turn them easily and you don't risk them falling between the grates of the grill rack. This "two skewers raft" option is also useful with onions... then again, you could also just have onion "steaks"- but be careful because they'll eventually end up falling apart into rings.
Drizzle vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place vegetables on grill that has been pre-heated to a moderate heat.
Cover and check after a few minutes, turning as necessary.
Continue cooking until vegetables have grill marks and cooked to desired doneness.

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