Get Grilling with Fresh Summer Flavours!
Vegetarians can’t enjoy the grill? That’s old news!
You don’t have to be a meat-eater in order to make delicious meals on the grill. No matter what dietary restrictions you have, the grill can be a versatile tool to experiment with healthy ingredients and new flavours! In fact, we could all use an extra hit of veg in our diets every now and then! Balance out those evening ice cream cones with a comforting and satisfying meal loaded with good-for-you ingredients.
This time of year, squash, eggplant and zucchini are at their prime. These hearty veggies hold up well against the heat of the grill. When done right, you won’t even notice the lack of meat at the table, we promise!
Grilled summer vegetables are the stars of this cheesy gratin. The aroma of fresh basil, garlic and parmigiano-reggiano cheese puts this dish over the top! Special tip for this recipe: choose zucchini, squash, and eggplant with similar diameters for the prettiest dish. If the eggplant is wider, cut each slice in half or in quarters after grilling!
Grilled Vegetable Gratin with Ricotta and Basil
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Grilling Time: 43-52 minutes
Special equipment: 7-by-10½-inch or 8-inch-square grill-proof baking dish or 9-inch cast-iron skillet
2 large red bell peppers
2 small globe eggplants, about 1 pound total, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium zucchini, about 1 pound total, cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
3 medium yellow squash, about 1 pound total, cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
12 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese (1½ cups)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves, divided
1 garlic clove, minced or pushed through a press
½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano® cheese
1. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
2. Grill the bell peppers over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until blackened and blistered all over, 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally. Put the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to trap the steam. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Remove the peppers from the bowl and peel away and discard the charred skin. Cut off and discard the stems and seeds, and cut each pepper into four pieces.
3. Generously brush the eggplant on both sides with oil. Lightly brush the zucchini and the squash on both sides with oil. Season the vegetables evenly with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Grill the vegetables over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until nicely marked and tender but not too soft, 8 to 10 minutes for the eggplant, and 4 to 6 minutes for the zucchini and the squash, turning once or twice.
4. Lightly oil a 7-by-10½-inch grill-proof baking dish. In a medium bowl whisk the egg, ricotta, ¼ cup of the basil, the garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Using half of the vegetables, arrange a layer of eggplant, then squash, then zucchini, then bell peppers, overlapping the slices slightly. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the vegetables in an even layer and top with half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining vegetables, ricotta mixture, and cheese. Cook over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until the cheese is melted and bubbly, rotating the dish occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the grill and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with the remaining 2 tablespoons basil.
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©2013 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe from Weber’s New Real Grilling™ by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission.