Grilled Vegetable Antipasti

© Katherine Stetson

A double-sided grill cage helps keep the vegetables intact.  Mix and match vegetables subject to what is fresh and on hand.

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red Bell pepper
  • 1 Italian pepper
  • olive oil
  • a mix of fresh herbs: basil, rosemary, thyme, dill for example
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Cut vegetables into ½ inch slices and assemble in the grill cage.  Brush vegetables liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.

Grill over a medium high charcoal fire, turning once, until lightly charred and tender.  Serve vegetables hot or at room temperature.  Redress with olive oil just prior to serving.

Fried Ripe Tomatoes

© Katherine Stetson

The secret to the success of this dish is the quality of the tomatoes.  Hopefully they are homegrown and fully ripe!

  • ripe tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground pepper
  • olive or peanut oil
  • freshly chopped fresh basil, dill and chives, for garnish

In a large skillet, pour enough oil in to cover the bottom thinly.  Preheat over medium high heat.  Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large plate and whisk with a fork to distribute seasonings.  Dredge sliced tomatoes in flour mixture and shake off any extra.  Carefully put tomatoes into the hot oil, without crowding, and cook until nicely browned on the underside.  Turn tomatoes over and continue cooking until new side is browned.  Serve immediately with a sprinkling of fresh herbs.

Sautéed Green Beans with Hazelnut Crumbs

© Katherine Stetson

1/2 cup ground or finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup fine fresh bread crumbs or 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 pound green beans, stemmed
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine the nuts and crumbs and set aside. Blanch the green beans in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes. Refresh them under cold water and drain well. Heat the butter in a sauté pan. Add the shallots and sauté until softened. Add the green beans, salt, pepper and hazelnut crumbs. Sauté several minutes to heat through. Serve at once.

Saag Paneer

© Katherine Stetson

A great side dish to roasted or grilled meats and fish, or served by itself with basmati rice as an entrée.

For four side dishes or two entrees:

For the seasoning base:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (or unsalted butter)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • ½ inch cinnamon bark
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper 

For the paneer:

  • 1 cup paneer, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (or unsalted butter)

For the saag: 

  • 1 pound fresh baby spinach, stemmed
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • sliced scallion, as garnish (optional)

Make the seasoning base:

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, combine olive oil and ghee with the onion and cook until onion is translucent.  Stir in remaining ingredients and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 6-10 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and cinnamon bark.

Brown the paneer:

In a small nonstick skillet, melt ghee and add the paneer.  Cook over medium heat, shaking occasionally, until paneer is a golden brown.

Finish the dish:

Add spinach and cream to seasoning base and cook over medium-high heat until spinach is wilted and tender.  Transfer mixture to a warm serving dish and top with the paneer, cilantro and scallion.

Panini Zucchini

© Katherine Stetson

Fabulous use of a panini grill that renders up perfectly grilled tender-crisp zucchini slices.

For four servings:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

  • 2 medium zucchini, cut in 1/3 inch thick slices
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out the zucchini slices.  Use a pastry brush to brush each slice with olive oil.  Season with sea salt and pepper and turn slices over and repeat process.

Cook zucchini on the panini grill until nicely marked and tender and remove to a rack on a cookie sheet.  Keep warm in the oven while finishing the rest of the zucchini.

When ready to serve, top with grated parmesan, if desired.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

© Katherine Stetson

For four servings:

  • 1 pound small, young Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • sea salt, to taste

freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a plastic bag, combine all ingredients except Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper.

Trim bottom core from Brussels sprouts and remove any discolored outer leaves.  Cut Brussels in half and add to plastic bag.  Swish bag with you hands to evenly coat the Brussels and pour contents into an 8” by 8” shallow casserole dish.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring periodically, until nicely browned and tender.

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.