Two summers ago we bought a grill. A big one. A big six burner gas grill. And Oh, how did we ever live without it? We lived in Florida, the land of eternal summer, without a grill? Sometimes you just can’t explain your own past. It has been one of the best investments we have ever made. Seriously. From May through September we use it 2-3 times per week. When it is too hot to think about turning on the stove – grill to the rescue. When I need to cook chicken in less than no time? 600 degree gas grill is ready before I can get the chicken on a tray.
Grilling is usually the domain of protein. Chicken, steak, shrimp… all have their turn over the flame. But sometimes you want the smoke and char without the meat. Grilling vegetables is easy, quick, and oh so very tasty! And because it’s me we’re talking about – I put it on toast.
This Grilled Veggie Bruschetta is pretty flexible. You can eliminate the cheese, and swap the bread choice, if you need it to be vegan, the vegetables will have plenty of moisture on their own. The vegetables here go together in than they have a similar texture. An onion or leek would be a good addition or substitution if you don’t have or don’t like one of the ingredients. Portabella mushrooms would also be delish, just don’t get mini crimini or baby bellas that might fall through the grates of your grill.
As noted in the recipe, you can do all the grilling and chopping ahead of time. Store the veggie mixture in the fridge and the toasted bread in an airtight container until you are ready to assemble and serve.
Grilled Vegetable BruschettaCourse: AppetizersDifficulty: Easy
Yield 15-20 pieces
1 Medium Baby/Italian Eggplant (425g / 15oz)
1 Medium Zucchini (85g / 3.5oz)
2 Medium Tomatoes (200g / 7oz)
1 Baguette (200g / 7oz)
2 Garlic Cloves; Peeled
8 oz Soft Goat’s Cheese (225g)
Kosher or Flaky Salt
- Preheat your grill to Medium High heat. If you have the space / ability, create two zones: a medium high heat and a more moderate heat.
- Meanwhile, trim the top and bottom of the Eggplant and Zucchini. Slice, pole to pole, in about 1/2 inch slices. Transfer the slices on a baking sheet.
- Cut the Tomatoes in Half and core if needed. Arrange on baking sheet, cut side up.
- Brush the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt on both sides.
- Slice the baguette on the bias (angle) into 1/2 inch thick slices. Discard (eat) the ends 😉
- Arrange bread slices on second baking sheet and brush lightly with oil on both sides.
- Place the vegetables on the grill with the Zucchini over the Medium High Heat, the Eggplant and Tomatoes over Moderate heat. I use a grill tray for the tomatoes as they tend to fall apart.
- Cook the vegetables with the grill lid closed for 3-5 minutes and then turn them over. You are looking for the Eggplant and Zucchini to be cooked through with nice grill marks and for the tomatoes to be just beginning the char.
- Once you have flipped the vegetables, add the bread to the grill if it is large enough, over moderate heat.
- Pull both the vegetables and the bread off of the grill as they are finished to your liking. If your grill is small, you can grill the vegetables first and then set them aside and grill your bread.
- Roughly chop the grilled vegetables. They will be very soft, but you want to keep as much integrity as you can. Place in a mixing bowl and toss together.
- Choose your favorite side of each bread slice. Rub the raw garlic cloves gently over the toast on top side.
- Spread each slice of toast with a smear of goat’s cheese. Distribute the grilled vegetable mixture between the toasts.
- Arrange on a Serving Platter and drizzle with a little Olive Oil and sprinkle with Flaky Salt before serving.
2 Baking Sheets
Charcoal or Gas Grill
Medium Mixing Bowl
- All of the grilling, and chopping can be done in advance. Cover the vegetable mixture and place in the fridge. The toasts can be kept in a sealed container at room temperature. Assemble just before serving.