I like nothing more than a good char on my veggies. It adds so many flavors and takes them to a whole other level. I did these in the oven at super high heat.
It takes my taste buds back to Volterra in Italy. I had this unbelievable mezze platter that I still dream about to this day. The funny thing is it wasn’t over-seasoned or spiced. It was brilliant because it was uncomplicated.
Italians have a way of keeping things simple, making the veggies the star and giving the fresh produce a chance to shine.
The fresh sweet basil on top brings it all home… Serve with warm crusty bread.
Buon Appetito xxx Chef MMPrint
Charred Eggplant Zucchini & Garlic
- 1 head of garlic with skin on – halved
- 1 large eggplant cut into 1 inch thick circles
- 1 red pepper- seed removed and julienned into ½ inch strips
- 1 red onion- cut into 8ths
- 2 zucchinis cut into long thick strips
- 1 fennel bulb…. Bottom removed Cut into 6ths with stalks attached
- Olive oil
- Coarse Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Garnish with a handful of chives and basil
Preheat oven to 475 F/250 C
Toss eggplant in a bowl with oil and 1 tsp salt. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Cut the remaining veggies. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a second parchment lined baking sheet along with the head of garlic.
Grill in the oven for 45 minutes switching the baking trays between the top and bottom racks every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
When nicely charred remove and set aside Place on a platter and top with a very good Italian olive oil.
Garnish with chives and basil. Serve at room temperature.
You can add some dollops of goat cheese to the veggies when they are still warm if you want some more decadent flavors.