Grilled Vegetables with Basil Vinaigrette

This is my idea of a summer dinner. Simple, easy, fast, virtually no cleanup, and I don’t heat up my house. Loads of grilled veggies, simply tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and an easy vinaigrette that’s exploding with flavor.

This is my idea of a summer dinner. Simple, easy, fast, virtually no cleanup, and I don’t heat up my house. Loads of grilled veggies, simply tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and an easy vinaigrette that’s exploding with flavor.


INGREDIENTS:

Vegetables
  • 1 medium zucchini, trimmed and sliced on the bias into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 medium yellow squash, trimmed and sliced on the bias into 1/2-inch rounds
  • half of 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
  • half of 1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
  • about 6 baby portobello mushrooms, with cores removed
  • about 2 cups cauliflower florets (broccoli florets may be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Basil Vinaigrette 
  • about 2 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed (about 2 ounces or about 2 large handfuls)
  • about 1/3 cup olive oil
  • half of 1 large shallot (about the size of 2 cloves of garlic)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (apple cider or your favorite vinegar may be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or to taste (agave may be substituted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • splash water, optional see note below

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Vegetables – Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat or a grill pan over medium-high heat and spray with nonstick grill spray.
  2. To a large bowl, add the vegetables, oil, salt, pepper, and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Arrange vegetables on grill in a single layer and cook for about 5 minutes on first side, flip and cook for about 5 minutes on second side, or until as done, tender, and as blackened as desired. All grills, vegetables, and personal preference for blackening vary; cook until done based on your variables. Remove vegetables from grill, arrange on a platter; set aside.
  4. Basil Vinaigrette – To the canister of a high speed blender or food processor, add all ingredients except water, and blend on high speed until smooth. Note – I used a Vita-Mix and the ingredients were just underneath the level of the blade so it was spinning around and not blending them so I added a splash of water just to bring the level up high enough to catch on the blade. I chose water rather than oil to save calories and fat but you could use more oil, or double the batch and add more basil, shallot, etc. Taste and make any necessary flavor adjustments (more salt, pepper, honey, etc.). Serve vinaigrette with the vegetables either on the side or drizzled over the top. Vinaigrette will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. Vegetables are best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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