I love vegetables. I really do. I’ve experimented with many vegetable dishes (some not so successful) over the years, and I’ve found that keeping it simple usually yields the best results. Below is a vegetable dish that I found on the Epicurious website a long time ago, but it has become a main staple in my home cooking. It is delicious and healthy; both of which are important components of a successful meal! This can serve as a stand-alone dish, but I like to serve it with fish. Give it a try – you’ll get hooked too.
On the grill (or broil in the oven)
3 large red bell peppers (about 1 1/2 pounds), stemmed, seeded, quartered
4 large Japanese eggplants (about 1 1/4 pounds), trimmed, cut lengthwise into 3 slices
4 medium green or yellow zucchini (preferably 2 of each; about 1 pound), trimmed, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices
Extra-virgin olive oil (for grilling)
For the dish
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)* – found in most grocery stores or Asian food stores
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Arrange vegetables on baking sheets. Brush with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill (or broil) peppers, skin side down and without turning, until blackened and blistered, moving occasionally for even cooking, about 10 minutes. Enclose in plastic bag. Let stand until skins loosen, about 30 minutes. Grill eggplants and zucchini until charred and tender, turning and rearranging for even browning, 5 to 6 minutes. Place on foil-lined baking sheet. Peel peppers. Transfer to sheet with eggplants and zucchini.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add breadcrumbs; stir until golden, about 3 minutes. Season breadcrumb picada to taste with salt; scrape into small bowl.
Place vinegar in another small bowl; whisk in 3 tablespoons oil. Mix in parsley and oregano. Season to taste with salt.
Arrange vegetables on platter. Spoon herb dressing over; sprinkle with breadcrumbs.