Grilled Vegetables Say Summer!
This Minnesota summer has seen a long, hot spell combined with a drought. Every day, we water and cross our fingers that it might rain a little, soon. I’m always trying to keep the house as cool as possible, while still eating well. That’s the perfect time to use that grill to your advantage. I embrace the heat, and make grilled vegetables and tofu.
Of course, it is zucchini season, so you might well have an overload of zukes that shouldn’t go to waste. This method is a showy, fun way to put them to use.
(Zucchini Brownies are another way to use up some zucchini!)
Zucchini is the best for Grilled Vegetables
The first thing you need is a delicious sauce. I stirred up an easy, no-cook peanut-hoisin sauce in a flash. Then the grilled vegetables. I did blanch the Brussels sprouts for one minute, just to help them cook through on the grill without drying out. The tofu got a sprinkle of tamari and sesame oil for a bit of flavor beneath the sauce.
But the fun piece is the weaving of zucchini ribbons onto the skewers. Watch the video, for a quick demo. You’ll need a mandoline or a chop top box to slice the zucchini evenly and thinly. I bought skewers with a flat, wide blade, rather than a round one, so that the zucchini will stay in place.
Do you need anything else? A juicy tomato salad, maybe, or a bowl of sticky rice to absorb the sauce.
You can also make pizza: Make a Pizza with Edible Flowers, It’s Like Eating Summer
Veggies and Tofu Skewers with Hoisin Peanut Sauce
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons tamari sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 teaspoon gochujang paste
- 3 medium zucchini
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- 24 brussels sprouts
- 1 10 ounce extra firm tofu drained and cut in 1 inch cubes
- tamari and toasted sesame oil
- avocado oil
- Preheat the grill.In a glass measuring cup, combine the peanut butter, hoisin, tamari, rice vinegar, mirin and gochujang, and whisk until well mixed.
- Use a mandoline to slice the zucchini in very thin slices, about as thick as a quarter.Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Trim the brussels sprouts, then use your paring knife to cut a "starter hole" in the base of each. Drop in boiling water and blanch for 1 minute, then drain.Cube the tofu and sprinkle with tamari and toasted sesame oil, toss to coat.
- Brush the zucchini slices with oil, then tread on the skewers as shown in the video, weaving the slice back and forth. Top each skewer with a cherry tomato to hold the zucchini in place.
- Alternate tofu and brussels sprouts on skewers.
- Scrape hot grill, then use tongs to dip wadded paper towel in avocado oil and swab the hot grill. Place the skewers on the grill, with the zucchini skewers, skin side down.
- Turn in about 3 minutes, and carefully turn the skewers until the zucchini edges are browned and the brussels sprouts and tofu are marked.
- Baste the skewers with the peanut sauce, and place the sauced side down to brown it, and baste the other side. Turn for a minute, then take off the grill and serve.