Grilled Summer Veggies with Forbidden Rice

Everyone knows summer is awesome.  Seriously.  Ask anyone.  Especially kids.  And it doesn’t hurt to live in the Napa Valley where the weather is stupidly perfect.  Today it was 72 and sunny with a slight breeze, which is fairytale weather.

So one of the best things about the good weather and the summerness of it all is the grill.  I can’t even tell you how much I love barbecues.  It’s one of my top 10 favorite things, along with puppies, drinking free wine and David Sedaris novels.  But, since I’ve been trying to eat less meat these days (you know, to singlehandedly save the world) I have to find other things to grill.  Luckily, grilled veggies are amazing and delicious, so, crisis averted.

Grilling veggies is easy.  All you need are veggies, a grill and an easy marinade.  I also made some forbidden rice to go along with them, which I didn’t take a photo of.  It’s this cool, totally black rice that has a really great texture and flavor.  I suggest you go buy a bag of it and then prepare it according to the directions on the bad.  It’s that easy.

So, the kinds of veggies you used are up to you.  I used:

Portabello mushrooms

Yellow squash

Zucchini

Asparagus

Red onion

Sweet peppers

Pasilla peppers

Aaaand that’s it.

But really, feel free to use any of your favorite veggies!  Like carrots, or brussel sprouts, or broccoli.  Anything really works.  The important thing is the marinade, which is also simple.  You’ll need:

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

5 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 lemons (juiced)

1 tsp kosher salt

Ground pepper

Okay, so basically you want to combine these ingredients and let them sit together for at least an hour before you used them on the vegetables.

After chopping up your veggies and letting the marinade stew a little bit, pour the whole marinade over the veggies and toss like a salad.  Let the veggies sit in the marinade for about 15 minutes.

Also, be sure to drink some wine.

Now, prepare your grill…however you do that.  All grills are different.

We have this nifty basket thing to put the veggies in so they don’t sit directly on the grill.  I highly recommend it, because you can cook a larger amount at a time and you don’t have to turn everything over individually.

Depending on how hot the grill is you can leave the vegetables on anywhere from 10-30 minutes.  If your veggies seem to be taking to long, try closing the lid of the bbq for a couple minutes to seal in the heat, but not for too long because you don’t want too much smoke all up in the veggies.  Make sure to constantly check and stir them.  If you’ve got a really hot grill, they can easily burn.

Like I said, serve these with some forbidden rice and you won’t be sorry, but they’re also just great as a side dish for any bbq.  Or even just on their own as a snack.  Enjoy!