Grilling your vegetables is a very exciting thing to do. The flavor that it imparts adds a lot of magic to the finished dish. I love my veggies cooked like this and I love that the vegetables take centre stage here instead of hovering in the wings. I know this dish is extremely good for you but I don’t just want you making it for that reason. I would love for you to make it because it sounds kind-a foxy to you and you see the excitement in these gorgeous flavor combo’s.
This is a complete vegetarian dish – perfect for our Meatless Monday lunches or dinner or as an antipasti platter. We are serving these superstar veggies with a wonderful Spanish Romesco sauce (the king of sauces for me right now) and some spiced chickpeas which are delightful in their own right but also pack a nice protein boost to the meal.
This dish is all so flexible. Don’t want to make the chickpeas? – no problem : There will be no talk behind your back. Want to serve the veggies with a splash of balsamic instead? – I hear you! Think it would be sensational throwing some haloumi on the grill too – oh yeeeeaeeaaaaahhhhh!
I hope you have fun, play around and love these dishes as much as I do!
Romesco sauce is a highly versatile sauce. Wonderful served with vegetables but equally wonderful served on top of chargrilled chicken pieces and topped with flaked almonds (I have placed a picture below for you in case you want to try this on a day other than Meatless Monday!) or served with a piece of grilled fish. To make this dish gluten free, simply leave the bread out of the ingredients list in the Romesco sauce. Romesco sauce will keep in the refrigerator for a few days until ready to use.
1 red capsicum
5 roma tomatoes
100ml olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves of garlic unpeeled
100g blanched almonds
1 slice of good quality white bread such as ciabatta or sourdough (leave out if gluten free)
1 fresh long chilli
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
50ml of sherry vinegar (or use red wine vinegar if this is what you have)
Preheat the oven to 180oC.
Place the capsicum and tomatoes in a baking dish, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper (if serving this sauce with chargrilled vegetables, throw your extra capsicum in here at the same time & remember to keep it aside when blending the other capsicums for the sauce). Wrap the garlic in foil and also place in baking dish. Roast in the oven for 20+ minutes.
In a smaller baking dish, toast the almonds for 2-3 minutes until golden (watch they do not burn).
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small frying pan and toast the bread on both sides or alternatively, this can be done on a char grill or barbecue. Break the bread in to pieces, once cooked.
Put the capsicum, tomatoes, garlic (squeezed straight out of their skins), almonds, bread, chilli and vinegar into a blender or food processor and combine. Add 100ml of olive oil and ‘whizz’ until you have a smooth sauce. Season generously with sea salt and pepper.
1 red capsicum
Other vegetables of choice might be : Asparagus, red onion, eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin, sweet potato, fennel (I like to slice the eggplant and zucchini super thin and you can use a vegetable peeler or mandolin for this)
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat your barbecue of chargrill pan to high. Grill your capsicum until the skin blackens and then remove and place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap to cause it to sweat and allow us to later remove the skin, with ease.
Toss the vegetables with a splash of olive oil and chargrill your other vegetables of choice for 1-2 minutes, each side. Once cooked, set them aside on top of some paper towel and don’t pile them all together or they will go soggy.
Remove the skin and seeds of the capsicum by rubbing gently with your hand. Don’t be tempted to place your capsicums under cold water as you will loose all of that delicious smoky flavor. Tear the capsicum in to rough pieces and set aside with the other vegetables.
Pile the vegetables on to a plate and dress them with a splash of evo and a good squeeze of lemon juice and season well with sea salt and pepper.
These are also great served with pre dinner drinks. Enjoy!
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 x 400g canned chickpeas, drained
3 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon og ground chilli (optional)
1 teaspoon of Spanish smoky paprika
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
A few sprigs of thyme
Freshly cracked black pepper
A small pinch of dried chilli flakes
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the drained chickpeas, cumin, cinnamon, chilli, paprika, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approx. 13-15 minutes. Discard the garlic and thyme and serve sprinkled with a little extra salt and a few dried chilli flakes.
Versatile, great for you and oh-sooooooo delicious. We’d love to hear what you think. Happy Meatless Monday y’all!