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Grilled Vegetable Platter with Picnic Vinaigrette

Grilled Vegetable Platter with Picnic Vinaigrette
Grilled seasonal vegetables make a colorful and festive beginning to a picnic or other outdoor gathering.

Ingredients:

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • 4 Asian eggplant
  • 4 zucchini
  • 18 asparagus spears, trimmed and peeled, if
      desired
  • 6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup assorted finely chopped fresh herbs,
      such as flat-leaf parsley and basil

Directions:

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.

To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, combine the shallot, vinegar, lemon juice and mustard. Whisk in the olive oil, then add the parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid.

Place the red and yellow bell peppers on the grill rack and grill, turning, until the skins blacken and blister. Place in a brown paper bag, close tightly and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the peppers and peel off the charred skin. Remove the stems, seeds and ribs. Cut the peppers into 1/2-inch slices. Place on a large serving platter.

Cut the eggplant and zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Lightly coat with nonstick olive oil cooking spray and grill, turning once, until softened and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Place on the platter.

Lightly coat the asparagus spears and tomato halves with cooking spray. Grill, turning once, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes for the asparagus, 8 minutes for the tomatoes. Arrange attractively with the other vegetables on the platter. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the fresh herbs. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Outdoors Series, Picnics and Tailgates, by Diane Rossen Worthington (Time-Life Books, 1998).