Farm-Stand Vegetable Skewers with Pesto Vinaigrette
What better way to make use of the frenzy of vegetables that bursts on the scene in midsummer than these easy grilled skewers, all dressed up in pesto vinaigrette. Keep it fun and simple by loading the skewers with whatever mix of fresh, seasonal vegetables you find at the market. Photo to the left by Peter Frank Edwards.
MAKES ABOUT 12 SKEWERS / SERVES 6 TO 12
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup basil pesto or Arugula Pesto
Juice of 1 lemon
1⁄2 pound okra, stem ends removed
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 2-inch wedges
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 2-inch wedges
1 red onion, cut into 2-inch wedges
6 small summer squash (such as yellow, zucchini, or pattypan), cut into 2-inch chunks
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup fresh sage leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Combine the olive oil, pesto, and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk to mix thoroughly. Set vinaigrette aside.
2. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill and let the coals burn to gray ash with a slight red glow; if using a gas grill, heat the grill on medium. If using wooden skewers, soak in water while prepping the vegetables to help prevent burning.
3. Skewer the okra, red and yellow peppers, onion, squash, and tomatoes, alternating vegetables for varied flavor and color and adding a sage leaf every 3 or 4 vegetables. Be sure to leave some room at the dull end of each skewer free for easy handling.
4. Brush the skewers with the vinaigrette and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Place on the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until the vegetables are slightly charred but still crisp-tender. Remove from the grill and serve warm with the remaining vinaigrette on the side, for dipping.