Kosher hot dogs or no kosher hot dogs, my favorite grilled dishes never need a kosher inspection or labeling. They include eggplants, zucchini, onions, fennels, and mini sweet peppers. The simplest and most delicious summer dish I can think of is a choice of whatever’s fresh in your local market, sliced, brushed with a little olive oil, grilled and mixed with a dressing made of equal parts lemon juice and olive oil.
As an eggplant addict I always include them in any grilled veggie salad. I wrote about the regular black eggplants a couple of weeks ago, saying that they’re your best choice for frying. As for grilling, the baby eggplant, also known as Italian eggplant, is better. It is light and practically seedless, so the process of salting the eggplant and letting it stand to get the bitter juices out is not necessary. And you can always be sure you’re getting a perfectly sweet result.
Just remember that an eggplant is ready when it shows no resistance when you press it with your finger. If it is still a little hard to the touch it needs more time on the grill.
Serve the grilled veggies next to a T-bone steak, boneless-skinless chicken thighs (Israelis’ favorite) or even a hot dog. It will be the star of the meal.
Recipe: Grilled Vegetable Salad
Use any good-looking vegetables for this salad; red onion rings, peppers, asparagus, sliced fennel will all work well. You will need to adjust the grilling time for each vegetable.
3-4 Italian or baby eggplant
3-4 small zucchini
12 mini sweet peppers
2-4 jalapeno peppers (optional)
Juice from 2 lemons
½ cup olive oil (plus more for brushing)
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt to taste
1. Slice the eggplant and zucchini lengthwise to 1/6 inch thick slices. Brush a little olive oil on both sides.
2. Heat your grill to medium-high heat.
3. While the grill is warming prepare the dressing. Mix lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt and set aside.
4. When the grill is ready arrange the eggplant, zucchini and peppers on the rack in one layer and close the lid. After 5-6 minutes, when the eggplant and zucchini have nice grill marks and the pepper begins to char turn them all to the other side, close the lid again and continue to grill for another 3-4 minutes. At this point the eggplant should be soft and ready and the peppers would be charred on both sides.
5. Transfer the eggplant and zucchini to a bowl and mix with the dressing. Transfer the peppers to a separate container with a lid. Close the lid on the peppers and let them sweat for 10 to 15 minutes. Peel and seed the peppers and tear them to small slices and add to the eggplant and zucchini bowl. Mix again and serve warm or at room temperature.
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