Upgrade your meal with these grilled summer vegetables drizzled with a homemade fresh basil vinaigrette. Enjoy these vegetable skewers solo or with grilled fish, chicken, or tofu!
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It’s officially grilling season and whether you are doing it out back or inside on a rainy day, be sure to add some veggies to the plate. I’m showing you how I make grilled vegetables indoors and then take them up a notch with a fresh basil vinaigrette.
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Grill the vegetables you have on hand. Here, I’m going with zucchini, red onions, and red, yellow and orange bell peppers (because all the colors were on sale this week!). I also added baby bella mushrooms to the mix for the hearty, earthy texture. No matter which vegetables or mushrooms you choose, aim to cut them about the same size. This way you don’t end up with a mixture of limp and undercooked vegetables on the same skewer.
Once ALLLLL the washing and chopping are done, you’re ready to season the veggies. I kept it simple. I added fresh ground Himalayan sea salt and black pepper and extra virgin olive oil. The olive oil adds a fruitiness that balances out the vegetal flavors. And remember, that basil vinaigrette will come in at the end to finish off the dish with pizzazz!
Because it’s been raining here all week, and I didn’t feel like dealing with charcoal, I used my trusty, 10-year-old cast iron grill pan to make the vegetable skewers. To prevent sticking, I sprayed it with avocado oil – which can take the heat without smoking up the house too much.
Tips for perfect grilled vegetables
Cut the vegetables in uniform sizes. This allows for even cooking. Taking time to make similar sized pieces means all of the vegetables will get cooked without any of them burning or getting too soft.
Flip the vegetables once. Let the vegetable stay in place for 3-5 minutes per side to get nice grill marks and flavor. For larger chunks, you’ll need about 5 minutes on medium-high heat but smaller vegetable slices will cook quicker so just keep an eye on them. I like to maintain a bit of bite in my vegetables. Cook the vegetables longer if you prefer softer ones.
Serve immediately. Grilled vegetables are best served warm on the same day. Because of their high water content, they will get soggy in the refrigerator. If that happens, toss them into a salad or blend into a sauce the next day.
NOTE: If you’re grilling indoors or using a grill grate outside, you can actually skip the skewers.
The fresh basil vinaigrette is easily blended in a high powered blender and will keep for up to a week. Stay tuned for a full post on the vinaigrette – it deserves its own page! But for now, here’s the simple recipe. Enjoy it and cheers to a great summer!
Grilled Summer Vegetables with Basil Vinaigrette
- 1 large zucchini, sliced on diagonal (about ¼ inch)
- 2 ed, yellow, or orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1 inch wide strips
- 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced in half
- ½ medium red onion, wedged
- 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- coarse salt to taste
- Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill. Prepare it by brushing the grill lightly with oil so the food won’t stick. Add the vegetables to the grill (in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding). Grill on medium-high heat about 3 minutes per side or longer depending on the how soft you like your vegetables.
- While the vegetables cook, add vinaigrette ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.
- Add the cooked mixed vegetables to a serving platter. Drizzle with half the basil vinaigrette and leave the rest for guests to add more if desired.
Be sure to pin this recipe for later!