Get those veggies on the Grill!

Grilling vegetables adds a perfect texture and flavour that fits the summer time warmth in the air. For these recipes I used grilling baskets to cook these veggies with ease. You could put them directly on the grill but having the baskets take a little worry out of cooking them.
Use these recipes as appetizers, side dishes or main course for your summer barbecues. Try bringing them to your next family gathering or to the office to impress. Add a little colour and veggies to your next plate, you will love it!

Potato Stuffed Zucchini

This is a quick dinner my grandmother put together when she was not in the mood for pasta. It is filling and warms your insides. The combination of potatoes and zucchini are moist and creamy. The grilling step is all me, get outside and cook! 

4 zucchini
5 yellow fleshed potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper 
Pinch paprika 

Trim ends of zucchini. Cut each in half lengthwise. Using small spoon scoop out inside seeds and some of the flesh, leaving at least 1/2 -inch (1 cm) thick wall. 

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook zucchini for about 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Remove from water with slotted spoon and drain; set aside.

In same pot, add potatoes and cook, for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well and return to pot. Using potato masher, mash potatoes with 3 tbsp (45 mL) of the oil and garlic. Let cool slightly.

Stir in egg, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper. Fill each zucchini half with mashed potato mixture. Place in single layer in sprayed grilling baskets. Sprinkle tops with paprika. Drizzle zucchini with remaining oil. 
Place on grill over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until zucchini is tender and potatoes are light golden. 

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Edamame and Asparagus Salad

Kids will love eating this salad with their fingers to enjoy every little bite. The contrast of grilled asparagus and cooked edamame make for a delicious salad with a hint of sesame.

1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces
1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
1 bag (500 g) shelled edamame
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame seeds, toasted

Toss asparagus with sesame oil. Place in sprayed grilling basket grill over medium high heat. Grill, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until tender but firm and golden. 

Meanwhile, in a pot of boiling salted water, cook edamame for 5 minutes. Drain well and place in a large bowl; add asparagus.

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, garlic and salt and drizzle over asparagus mixture. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Halloumi and Grape Tomato Stuffed Grilled Peppers

These mini peppers are perfect for tapas ideas or new side dishes. You can find halloomi, the semi-soft unripened cheese in the deli section with other cheeses. It has a great firm texture that makes it easy to cut and then melts perfectly with the heat of the grill. Enjoy them right off the grill or at room temperature with the stems on they are easy to pick up and eat.

12 sweet mini peppers
1 pkg (250 g) halloumi semi-soft unripened cheese, diced
1/2 cup (125 mL) quartered grape tomatoes
2 tbsp (25 mL) each chopped fresh Italian parsley and basil
1 tbsp (15 mL) each extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar
Pinch each salt and pepper

Cut peppers in half lengthwise leaving stem intact. Remove seeds and inside ribs of peppers and discard; set aside.

In a bowl, combine cheese, tomatoes, parsley, basil, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into peppers and place on large plate.

Place stuffed peppers into greased grilling basket over medium-low heat. Close lid and cook for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are tender but firm. 

Makes 12 stuffed peppers.

Tip: You can substitute any other of your favourite cheese in the recipe but feta, gouda or fontina are great choices to think about.


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