Perfect Grilled Vegetables
Chris Schlesinger of East Coast Grill shows the no-nonsense and easiest way to grill perfect vegetables every time. The Cambridge chef and author grills squash, onion, tomato and sweet potato, but recommends that you grill almost any kind of vegetable when you can.
With dense vegetables such as sweet potatoes you want to blanch them ahead so they can grill easier. In general, you will want to slice the vegetables as thick as you can so that they will maintain their interior texture while getting browned on the outside.
Start with a grill the way Chris usually does it — a hot fire on one side and a medium on the other. This gives you more control because you can switch what you are cooking back and forth as needed.
Lightly oil and salt the surface of the vegetables. If you over-oil, some will drip off and cause the fire to flare up. Cook the pieces a few minutes on the first side and flip when you have the desired brownness. A good tip from Chris is to not cook anything on the grill (vegetable, meat, fish, etc.) the same length of time on the second side that you do the first. It is not necessary and will only dry out your food.
Must-have grill tools include long handled tongs, a wire metal brush, and last, but not least, a favorite beverage (since grilling is an exact science, and there is always pressure to make it perfect, your favorite beverage keeps you cool under fire).
Grilled Vegetables Ingredients:
1 sweet potato
1 large tomato
1 large onion
4 tablespoons salad oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper (white is best) to taste
Prepare the grill. Parboil the sweet potato while the grill is warming.
1. Cut the vegetables into thick slices so that they will get nice and brown on the outside but retain their texture inside of the slices.
2. Lightly rub the vegetable slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Note: Do not use excess oil as this will cause a flame-up and the vegetables will burn.
3. Grill the vegetable slices 4 to 5 minutes on one side over a medium hot fire, being careful not to overcook them. Turn and cook the other side about half the amount of time as the first side.
4. Check for doneness by bending a piece gently and peering inside it, looking for a slight translucence in the center.
5. Remove the slices from the grill and serve with condiments or place on top of a salad.
Soy Free Sesame Mushroom Soup
Created by Akil Amen
Based on a recipe from Ani Phyo’s “Raw Asia”
4 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 baby bella mushroom, chopped
1 bunch enoki mushrooms
1/4 cup coconut amino
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Red pepper flakes, one pinch
3 cups water
1/2 cup tahini
3 medjool dates
2 tablespoons sliced scallions
Marinate mushrooms in coconut amino, sesame oil and pepper flakes for 20 minutes before adding to the soup.
For the base, blend water, tahini and medjool dates. Top with sliced scallions and enjoy!
Chef Joi’s Raw Brownies
· 1 Cup each Pecans & Walnuts
· 2 Cups dates
· 1 Tbsp. vanilla (optional)
· 2/3 cup carob or cacao powder & one pinch of salt
Mix in food processor ’til fully blended, pour into pan. Eat and smile!
Chef Joi’s Raw Blueberry Cobbler
· 3 Cups Pecans (dry)
· 3/4 tsp Sea Salt
· 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
· 1 tsp Cinnamon
· 3/4 Cup Dates (pitted)
Place pecans and salt in food processor and process until flour-like. Add the dates and vanilla and process until dough-like. Mixture should be slightly sticky, but not a glob. Place half of the crust in the bottom of your dish. Set other half aside for the topping.
3/4 Dates (pitted) — 1/2 Cup of Blueberries (fresh or frozen) — 1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract– ¼ to 1/3 Cup Water, as needed
Without cleaning out the food processor, place all the syrup ingredients in processor. Process until mixture is smooth and thick. Only add water in order to facilitate the blending process.
1 1/2 Cups blueberries (fresh or defrosted frozen variety)
Put blueberries in a large mixing bowl and toss with syrup. Make sure the berries are all covered. Pour the syrup covered blueberries on top of crust. Crumble the remaining crust/topping across the top of the filling. You can enjoy your cobbler now or refrigerate and enjoy over the next two to three days.