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July 2001 Issue
Grilling Out
by Victoria Smith
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When I was in foster care, and the foster family went on their camping vacations, they never took me, saying that I was not strong enough, and would hold the other kids back. They left me with another foster family in town, instead.

When my Mom adopted me in 1983, I told her about this, and she said "I will never take a vacation and leave you behind." And she never did. But she never took me camping, either. She would say to me, "Where do you want to go? Camping or to Williamsburg, VA?" No contest. Try the peanut soup at the King's Arms Tavern. Absolute bliss.

What does this have to do with grilling vegetables? Nothing. But I have to be honest. I have no experience at all sitting on a rock under a tree, tearing my food apart like a savage, while competing for dinner with every insect on the East Coast.

However, we do have this forest. And the parking lot has been cleared and graded. We borrowed a propane grill, because Mom won't own one, being sure that they are dangerous. So we set the evil thing up in the middle of the parking lot, away from the trees, and hoped to goodness that nothing got away from us.

Normally, in the house, we use propane for cooking, but the kitchen range isn't likely to tip over, but I was used to cooking with electricity before we moved here, and I was a long time getting comfortable with propane cooking.

Well, the grill has been returned, but here are some of the things that we tried and can recommend.

Thank Heaven for screens on the windows.



Grilled Vegetables

  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 medium red or yellow bell peppers, each cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 1 large red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
In a small bowl, combine the crushed garlic, basil leaves and pepper; mix well. Add the cheese, oil and vinegar, mixing well: set aside.

Arrange the vegetables on the outer edges of the grill. Grill the peppers 12 to 15 minutes and onion 15 to 20 minutes or until tender, turning both once. Brush the vegetables with the reserved cheese mixture during the last 10 minutes of grilling.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes


Grilled Italian Vegetables

  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 16 strips
Combine cheese, oil and Italian seasoning in a container larger enough to place the vegetables in. Place the vegtables in the dish with the mixture and lightly coat both sides. Place the vegetables on the edge of the grill or in a grilling basket and grill for 10-15 minutues. Turn occasionally.
  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes


Grilled Tomatoes

  • 3 tablesppons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 medium tomatoes
Mix together the olive oil, basil and parmesan cheese. Brush the mixture on the tomatoes and place them on the outer edge of the grill or in a grilling basket for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Yields: 3 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

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