Tip from Stephanie Dean, Test Kitchen coordinator: Try a baking sheet. Boy, do I hate to skewer things. It takes so much time. Plus I'm afraid of stabbing myself. But how else to grill little chunks of vegetables so they don't fall through the cooking grate? Use a baking sheet. It saves time and pain, and, since the vegetables cook indirectly, I can glaze them with balsamic vinegar, which ordinarily scorches on the grill. And I can cut them into strips, which won't cling to a skewer. The result: creamy, melt-in-your-mouth vegetables. Prep and Cook Time: about 2 hours. Notes: Serve in pita halves, over pasta, or with grilled lamb, beef, or chicken.
2 bell peppers (red or yellow), seeded, stemmed, and cut into 3/4-in.-wide wedges
2 red onions, cut into 1-in.-wide wedges
1 large eggplant, cut into 1-in. chunks
2 small yellow zucchini or crookneck squash, cut crosswise into 1/4 -in.-thick slices
3 Roma tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon each finely chopped fresh oregano and flat-leaf parsley
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
About 2 tsp. kosher salt
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup crumbled ash-coated fresh goat cheese
How to Make It
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect medium heat (350° to 450°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds). If using charcoal, light 60 briquets and let burn until covered with ash, 15 minutes. Bank evenly on 2 sides. The area over the cleared section is the indirect heat area. If using gas, turn all burners to high, close lid, and heat for 10 minutes. Then turn off 1 burner and reduce others to medium. The area over the turned-off burner is the indirect heat area.
In a large bowl, toss together all but the last 3 ingredients. Spread vegetables on a large rimmed baking sheet (not nonstick).
Cook vegetables over indirect heat, lid down, until very tender, about 60 minutes (for charcoal, add 4 briquets to each side every 30 minutes and keep measuring heat), gently stirring every 15 minutes. Drizzle with vinegar, stir, and cook 15 minutes more. Let vegetables cool. Put in a medium bowl, toss with pine nuts and salt to taste, and sprinkle with cheese.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving (about 3/4 cup).