So does this woman ever do anything besides grill vegetables? Yes, very occasionally, but rarely in summer. Why should I, when the vegetables at the market are so dazzling and the grill brings out their sweetness so perfectly?
Since we were gone last week, Saturday’s was the first market of the season when I have seen eggplants in abundance and I love, love, love eggplants. I got several of the big globe types – skin black and shiny and weighing so heavy in the hand. But Steve Spencer (Homestead Growers – the guy with the shitake and oyster mushrooms year round) also had some tiny striped eggplants that were perfectly adorable. I have to admit they made me nervous – I’ve tried to grow small eggplants before and found them to be pretty bitter, but Steve assured me it wasn’t so. He was right.
I brought the e’plants home and grilled them, just sliced and brushed with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Grilled some yellow zucchini squash and some yellow and green patty pans, sliced into rounds. Threw some sliced red onions on too. When each ingredient was cooked -- smoky, sweet, and fragrant -- I pulled it off and added it to a big bowl. Then I dressed the whole thing with a basil mint vinaigrette – about a handful of basil and mint leaves (the amounts are totally a matter of taste), plus a clove of garlic and some salt, all in the blender with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (about 2/3 to 1/3.) It was delicious, but sweet, so I added some red wine vinegar to sharpen it up, and before I served it, I squeezed a lemon over it and adjusted salt.
fabulous, fabulous – a light and minty grilled ratatouille of sorts. We ate it with a good baguette to soak up
the juices and that’s it. Sometimes when I make this I chop the vegetables smaller and toss it
with pasta which is also delicious, but keeping it even simpler seemed right
last night. Dessert was just a wedge of Capriole Farms Old Kentucky Tomme and some sweet, crispy watermelon -- a heavenly, refreshing combination. No wonder I love summer.