The truth about stovetop grill pans is...they're awesome. For anyone who loves to spend time in their kitchen, its a must. Its not just that the heavy pans themselves are kinda beautiful - I find they look fantastic on a stovetop - they've also got so much personality for a cooking aparatus, always begging to be used. Although yesterday was the official inauguration of my new cherry Le Creuset square grill pan, I imagine we will have a very long and happy life together. I see things like grilled garliky tempeh or tofu, mushroom and roasted tomato bruschetta and Tex-Mex fajitas in our future.
It's certainly a creative practice and process running a veg-ified kitchen when both your dog and husband are omnivorous. But it just happens to be a bonus that they are both very easy to please...
Last night for dinner we shared a platter of every possible grilled veggie I had on hand with a roasted red pepper and onion bulgur wheat pilaf [inspired by Itamar's Bulgur Pilaf from Ottolenghis' Plenty]. About 2 minutes into the meal, my old man exclaimed "you know babe, it almost feels like I'm having a steak alongside these veggies and bulgur." Now it's certainly that charred, backyard-BBQ-poolside kinda tastebud feeling he had that prompted such a comment, but I'll take it..."To your health, babe," I replied.
So, lets be honest...grilled veggies definitely need some jazz and zing to amp up the intrinsic flavors of the vegetables themselves, which can be bland in vegetables like eggplant and zucchini. So for this recipe, I put together a Herb Balsamic vinaigrette to drizzle on top of the warm veggies, each of which have different grilling times - so the veggies need to be grilled in batches:
For the vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1.5 tbsp, chopped rosemary
1.5 tbsp, chopped italian parsley
1.5 tbsp, chopped fresh basil
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
4 tbsp. olive oil
Salt + Pepper to taste
Whisk olive oil with the other ingredients and set aside.