Molly and Jiri’s Grilled Veggies

Jiri at the Grill

I am generally haphazard while grilling vegetables. I slather a little oil, salt, and pepper on sliced zucchini, eggplant, and/or peppers and put them on the grill. Then I try to keep them from falling through the little holes in the grill. (Usually I save most of them.)

My friends Molly and Jiri Stejskal invited me to dinner the other night. They are MUCH more organized in their grilling than I am, and their marinated grilled vegetables were rich in flavor. Their recipe, like most for this sort of thing, is a little vague—but it’s not hard to follow, I promise!

Molly slices her veggies.

Grilled Summer Vegetables

Ingredients:

2 small-to-medium eggplants
6 to 8 Roma tomatoes (I imagine you could use non-Roma tomatoes, but make sure the ones you use are firm!)
3 garlic cloves (more if you like)
1 to teaspoons salt (more or less to taste)
a “gracious sufficiency” of olive oil (be generous!)
freshly ground pepper
a few sprinklings of grated Parmesan cheese
several basil leaves, torn into small pieces

Instructions:

Slice the eggplants into 1/4-inch chunks or slices and slice the tomatoes in half. The pieces should be about the same thickness; use the tomatoes to guide you about the eggplant pieces.

Score the skin side of the eggplant pieces with a fork, and the inner side(s) with a sharp knife to help the marinade soak in.

Mash the garlic cloves in salt. Toss the oil into the mashed, salty garlic. Add pepper to taste. Pour the garlicky oil onto the veggies and stir gently but thoroughly. If you need a little more oil to coat them all lightly, add it and stir again. Marinate the veggies for 1/2 hour, more or less.

Preheat your grill to medium heat. When it is warm, remove the vegetables from the oil (save the leftover oil!) and grill them. This will take from 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill; it shouldn’t be TOO hot.

The tomatoes should be grilled sliced-side down. Do not turn them. DO turn the eggplant slices halfway through cooking so that they grill on both sides.

When the veggies have cooked, arrange them on a platter. Toss on the cheese (it will melt ever so slightly into the vegetables) and the basil. Drizzle your leftover oil and garlic overall.

Serves 6.

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6 Responses to “Molly and Jiri’s Grilled Veggies”

  1. Margie says:

    Yummy. You can find those baskets at stores which carry bbq supplies. Helps a lot. Love food cooked on the grill.

  2. tinkyweisblat says:

    I have given them to other people but somehow have never gotten around to buying one for myself–perhaps because I don’t grill a lot. But I am tempted, especially after trying this dish.

  3. Anne says:

    Hi Tinky, just catching up after being very busy! Those veggies look very tasty – but unfortunately our horrid weather continues, so there has been hardly any outdoor cooking! Anne x

  4. tinkyweisblat says:

    Poor Anne! I hope the skies clear SOON.

  5. Grad says:

    Vegetables are my favorite things to fix on the grill. It is interesting that your friends (by the way, may I say you seem to have the most wonderful ones…and they all seem to cook…and invite guests for dinner. Will they adopt another one?) As I was saying, it is interesting that Molly and Jiri do not salt the eggplant first. I’m afraid it will be bitter if I don’t, but I am not fond of trying to then wipe or wash off the salt, so I’ll have to try it next time. I also like green tomatoes on the grill. I bought one of those grill baskets only to find out my grill was too small…so I gave it to my son, Charlie. Come to think of it, he needs to invite me over for grilled shrimp…which is why I bought it in the first place. If it wasn’t pouring rain, Tinky, I’d fire up the charcoal and get to work. Sometimes nature does not cooperate.

  6. tinkyweisblat says:

    Ah, Grad, nature can indeed be hard on a girl! I have salted eggplant and not salted it, and I don’t see a lot of difference, but I have a feeling I don’t have a very refined palate. And, yes, one of my favorite things about my neighborhood is that we all cook … and we all cook slightly different things. New guests are always welcome! Meanwhile, I hope your son grills you that shrimp TONIGHT.

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