This recipe has been served several times, all times with great success. It can be prepared in advance or on the spot, on a grill or in an oven, and served hot or cold. In short, it’s versatile and consistently well-received, therefore one of my favorites to make for friends. It’s also associated, for me, with finishing my MSc thesis, since I made it for a dinner party that occurred on the day I did my final proofread.
Grilled marinated vegetables
- Mixture of grill-appropriate vegetables and/or tofu (see note)
- Ratio of 1:2 of extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (at least six tablespoons total)
- Pinch dried oregano
- 1-2 tbsp. (about 2 small) minced scallions, lower parts only
- 1/2 garlic clove, pressed in a garlic press or grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
Dressed Wild Rice
- Equal parts wild rice and brown rice (1/2 to 2/3 cup of each)
- 3:2 ratio of extra-virgin olive oil to balsamic vinegar (about five tablespoons)
- Two cloves garlic, crushed in a press
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
Follow rice cooking instructions — wild rice about 45+ minutes, brown rice about a half hour. Water-to-rice ratio for brown is 2:1, for wild rice, 1.75:1. When these are done, drain them and mix them together.
While the rice is cooking, cut vegetables and tofu into grill-sized pieces, usually slices or quarters. Prepare and mix marinade ingredients. Prepare and mix dressing ingredients.
Mix rice with dressing; allow to sit. Thoroughly soak the vegetables in the marinade. Allow to sit up to 20 minutes if desired. Grill or broil the vegetables, turning occasionally, until slightly blackened. Serve vegetables over dressed rice with Yoghurt-Tahini Dip — or however you like! Makes 4 servings with given amounts, but expandable to many more.
Eggplant, peppers, red onions (or really any onions, but red are the most flavorful), and zucchini are all good grill vegetables. You can also grill pressed tofu (which I like) or mushrooms, if you like them. You can grill fennel, though it’s not conventional. With both onions and fennel, the pieces may fall apart and fall through the grill, so be careful. Use those little grill sticks to keep them together, if you can. For four people, one aubergine, three peppers (preferably different colors), two zucchini, and perhaps a bit of onion or tofu is adequate. For grilling, vegetables and tofu should be cut chunky so that they don’t dry out or burn.
For the marinade, the vegetables can sit in it for quite some time if you want. It will probably taste a little better, but perhaps not so much so as to make it worth doing unless it’s more convenient that way. Also, the eggplant will tend to ‘hog’ the marinade because it’s spongy. I advise putting it in last.
The fresh thyme can be substituted with dried, or with another appropriate herb like lemon thyme or rosemary, but thyme is the best, I think.