Sometimes the very best meals are also the simplest ones. This recipe is simplicity itself, combining grilled peppers, grilled marinated zucchini with sun dried tomatoes and bocconcini cheese (these are small balls of fresh mozzarella – if the balls are unavailable, sliced fresh mozzarella will substitute nicely). These grilled peppers are wonderful served with some herbed garlic bread.
If reading the list of ingredients does not make your mouth water, the photo surely will. Few things are as visually appealing as a platter of colorful vegetables. Although not many people would name vegetables if asked about their favorite foods, it is true that most of us like at least some veggies even if we do not readily admit it. Even kids have a fondness for sweeter veggies like crunchy carrots or bell pepper (although sadly the same does not usually hold true for Brussels sprouts or cabbage!) The thing that makes this recipe special is how simple it is. You might be wondering whether it would be better with more spices or herbs, but actually the best thing to do is allow the fresh flavors of the veggies to shine through because that is where the beauty of the dish lies.
You can make some of the preparations the night before making this dish, such as chopping the vegetables. In fact if you marinate the zucchini in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, basil and garlic overnight before barbequing it you will enjoy a deeper, richer flavor. This step may be omitted if you are in a rush or if you want to make the recipe today, or you could just shorten the marinating time, but most people prefer to marinate because you can taste all those lovely flavors in the finished dish. As well as the juicy zucchini this recipe boasts bell peppers for an attractive splash of red color. The Italian flavors become evident with the next ingredients, which are sundried tomatoes, bocconcini cheese and sprigs of basil.
Generous slabs of hot, herbed garlic bread finish off the dish and give you something to crunch on while you enjoy the tender vegetables. Make sure you have plenty of herbs and garlic on there as well as the butter. When those delicious juices are running down your chin you will vow to make this recipe more often because all the flavors combine perfectly. You will feel like you are tucking into something really indulgent and sinful whereas most of this dish is comprised of vegetables so you are actually eating a whole lot of vitamins and minerals.
This is a lovely dish to make if you have visitors because they will be really impressed with this Italian inspired dish. It is hearty and filling without being too heavy, and you can serve small portions as an appetizer or larger ones for lunch. Leftover vegetables can be kept in the refrigerator for several days and added to your next salad. Just add them to your salad leaves with some cucumber, cheese and your favorite dressing.
- 3-4 medium zucchini
- 3 bell peppers (preferably red)
- 8 tbsp sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
- 8 balls bocconcini cheese
- Basil sprigs, for garnish
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for marinating
- 1 tsp each dried oregano and basil
- 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed (garlic powder may be substituted)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- The night before, Slice the zucchini into angled slices, about 2" long and toss with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, garlic, basil, and a pinch of salt and pepper before covering and refrigerating.
- Cut bell peppers into wide strips and place on skewers.
- Brush your zucchini slices with olive oil and grill zucchini and peppers.
- Grill the zucchini 3-4 minutes on each side, watching the pepper skewers and turning as necessary. When done, serve with 2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes, two balls of bocconcini cheese, and a thick slice of herbed garlic bread.
- This recipe is a terrific summertime lunch or a side dish.
Simple yet delicious, this Italian inspired vegetable platter is full of flavor. The colorful nature of this dish makes it appealing to the eyes and it will definitely be appealing to the belly after as little as one mouthful. The bocconcini cheese balls add a sophisticated touch to the plate while the sundried tomatoes and basil add to the Mediterranean appeal. This is so easy to make and if you can marinate the zucchini overnight the end flavor will be even better. Make extra veggies too so you can have them cold with your salad the following day.
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