On those hot summer days, use the grill to bring out the flavor of your seasonal vegetables with these Brined & Grilled Carrots with Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce and Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille.
Brined & Grilled Carrots with Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce
1 ½ lbs. young carrots (not baby carrots!), unpeeled, tops removed and reserved
4 cups water
½ cup kosher salt, plus extra to taste
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems, plus extra for garnish
1 cup chopped carrot tops, plus extra for garnish
½ cup Greek-style yogurt
3 T. dry-roasted peanuts, plus extra for garnish
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeds reserved, and cut into ¼” pieces
1 ice cube
1 t. finely grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, rough chopped
¼ t. ground coriander
Salt, to taste
For carrots: rinse and scrub carrots to remove any dirt. Whisk water and salt in a large bowl until salt is dissolved. Submerge carrots in brine and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes – 1 hour (don’t go past 1 hour, or they will be too salty). Transfer carrots to paper towel-lined plate and pat dry. Discard brine.
Meanwhile, process cilantro, carrot tops, yogurt, peanuts, jalapeno, ice, ginger, garlic and coriander in a blender on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape down sides midway through. Taste for spiciness; if desired, add jalapeno seeds. Season with salt and refrigerate until ready to use.
Light grill on high and heat until hot, about 10 minutes. Leave all burners on high. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place carrots on grill (directly over coals if using charcoal) and cook, turning occasionally, until carrots are well charred on all sides and just beginning to soften on exteriors, 3-5 minutes for very small carrots, 5-7 minutes for larger ones. (No need to fully cook – they should still be crunchy at the center.)
Transfer to a serving plate/platter. Drizzle yogurt sauce over and sprinkle with garnishes: cilantro, carrot tops and peanuts.
Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille
1 large red onion
2 lbs. eggplant
1 ½ lbs. zucchini or yellow squash
2 bell peppers / gypsy peppers
1 lb. firm yet ripe tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil (you’ll need approximately ½ cup)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
3 T. sherry vinegar
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 T. minced fresh thyme
1-2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Prepare vegetables for grilling:
- Cut onion into thick rounds and skewer.
- Cut eggplant and zucchini/yellow squash into ¾” planks.
- Cut peppers in half or quarters, depending on size and prepare a grill pan.
- Cut tomatoes in half cross-wise (across the “equator”).
Brush both sides of the vegetables with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until marked, slightly caramelized and just beginning to soften, turning once. Depending on size, veggies will need to be pulled off as they are done cooking. Peppers can be placed in a perforated grill pan to prevent slipping through the grill grates.
Set veggies aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, whisk ¼ cup olive oil, sherry vinegar, basil, thyme and garlic together in a large bowl. Cut vegetables into 1” pieces and add to oil mixture. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm or at room temperature.
Learn how to make these recipes by watching the cooking class below