Posted by Mira | Posted in More Picnic Ideas | Posted on 21-09-2011
Tags: eggplant, grilled vegetables, pepper, picnic, picnic food, picnic ideas
Grilled vegetables are very popular as picnic food. There is quite a variety of salad recipes you can do with grilled veggies. In the article you will be introduced with one basic recipe and proposed with possible variations of such. Thus you will be able to experiment best to your taste. The story will be about the grilled eggplants (aubergines) and bell peppers (sweet peppers) – both are popular in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. This food is also interesting as a seasonal veggie picnic idea. So, enjoy!
When in the market buy eggplants that are not very bulbous but take the purple long ones. Eggplants of this sort of have more tender seeds and thus taste better. As for the bell peppers normally we take yellow or green ones but you may include one red bell pepper as well.
Note: red peppers have bigger nutritional value rather than yellow or green ones.
By all means we should mention the health properties of these vegetables. Aubergines are very rich in Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, etc. Eggplants reduce cholesterol rates in the blood. Being rich in Potassium they perfectly feed the heart muscles. Bell peppers are also very rich in Vitamin C, A, Folic Acid, Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, etc. Thus, grilling as a short thermal treatment preserves most wholesome properties of these veggies. Also the fact that we spare the vegetables from extra contact with air (we don’t cut them when grilling) is also important!
Grilled Eggplants and Bell Peppers Salad
You can prepare this meal while outdoors in the picnic or have it cooked in advance at home. It tastes exquisitely delicious when cold. Apart from using a standard grill you can prepare the veggies over the gas hobs, or bake them in the oven. Yields 2 servings.
2-3 long purple eggplants
1-2 bell peppers
0.5 medium bulb onion or 4-5 green onions
seasoning: salt and freshly ground black pepper
vegetable or olive oil, or butter
Wash the vegetables, remove solid leaves off the eggplant stems. Grill each side of the eggplants for some 4-5 minutes on low heat if you are using the hob. Bell peppers will be done sooner. Keep turning round when one side becomes cooked. Peel of the peppers will turn dark brown, even black at sides. When peppers and aubergines are grilled through they become juicy and soft.
Lay the baked veggies on the cutting board, tray, or kitchen table. Peel the veggies, also remove the seeds of the bell peppers. It is easier to peel eggplants starting from the stem part towards the end. Cut the eggplants and peppers lengthwise and put in a medium bowl. Add salt and black pepper to taste. While the vegetables are warm you can add either a piece of butter to the bowl or sprinkle some vegetable (or olive) oil. Thinly chop the onion and also add to the bowl. Stir with a spoon to evenly mix the ingredients. Serve the salad as it is or add herbs to your taste. You may use a shoot of coriander, dill, or parsley. You can either have the salad on the plate and eat it with a fork or stuff it into pitta.
Tip: Another option you can prepare a salad with the baked bell peppers is to add to it tomato cut in big wedges, chopped coriander, dill, parsley, and grated Parmesan.
Recipe number 2
Yields 4-5 servings.
2 sweet peppers
3-5 chilies (mildly hot)
2 tbsp lemon/lime juice
1 garlic clove
2-4 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
2 tbsp chopped parsley, cilantro (or mint)
Wash all vegetables if needed. Grill aubergines, bell peppers, and chilies till they become soft through. Eggplants take longer than chilies and peppers. To make the process of peeling easier you may set the baked veggies aside for 10-15 minutes in a bowl and cover it with a lid. Later you will see juices in the bowl you may either pour it off or keep for the salad. (If you like the juices then better to peel and cut the veggies once they are grilled so that the liquid will at once pour in the salad bowl)
Peel the vegetables, remove the pepper seeds. Cut the veggies in medium pieces, stir all well. Puree the garlic clove and add to the bowl. Season with salt, drizzle the lemon/lime juice, oil; add chopped herbs. Toss to combine. Set to rest for 20-30 minutes. Serve cold.
Note: If you are not a chili lover then you can use 2 grilled tomatoes and several green onions.
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