Grilled Summer Vegetables With Tahini Dressing
Start up the grill for a crowd-pleasing platter of vegetables from the garden or farm stand. Take care to keep the fire medium-hot, so you can cook the vegetables without letting them become scorched or blackened. A bit of char is nice, of course, but don’t try for perfect grill marks. Remove vegetables from the grill when they are just done. They’re topped with a garlicky, lemony tahini dressing that serves as a perfect accompaniment.
- Serves: 6 persons
- ¼cup tahini, at room temperature and well stirred
- 3tablespoons lemon juice
- Pinch of ground cayenne
- 2garlic cloves, grated or pounded to a paste
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1cup plain yogurt (not Greek-style yogurt)
- Kosher salt
- 2medium red onions, peeled
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2ripe red bell peppers or other peppers, such as Corno di Toro
- 2pounds zucchini, yellow summer squash, pattypans or a combination
- 2medium eggplants (or 4 small Japanese eggplants)
- 4small tomatoes
- Paprika or pimentón, for garnish (optional)
- Chopped mint, dill, parsley and cilantro, for garnish
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Step 1Make the tahini dressing: Put tahini, lemon juice, cayenne and garlic in a small mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in olive oil, yogurt and a good pinch of salt.
Step 2Prepare a charcoal or gas grill, or a stovetop grill pan. Heat should be medium-high. Make sure grill racks are clean.
Step 3Cut onions crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Step 4Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise. Remove stems and seeds, and discard. Cut each half in two, making eight pieces. Brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet or roasting pan.
Step 5Cut zucchini and eggplant lengthwise or at an angle into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Brush slices with olive oil on both sides, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet or roasting pan.
Step 6Cut tomatoes in half crosswise. Brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet or roasting pan.
Step 7Grill onions and peppers (they take longer to cook): Set onion slices carefully on grill so they don’t fall apart. Start peppers skin-side up. Peppers and onions should take 4 to 5 minutes per side. As they are done, remove to a serving platter.
Step 8Grill zucchini and eggplant for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Grill tomatoes on one side only, until heated through, about 5 to 6 minutes. As they are done, remove to a serving platter.
Step 9Arrange vegetables in rows on the platter (or use two platters). Serve warm or at room temperature. Just before serving, drizzle tahini sauce over the vegetables. Sprinkle with paprika, if using, and shower with green herbs. Serve lemon wedges on the side.