By Kelly Bogard
A few weeks ago, I got a Facebook message from my friend Angela about Texas Table Top. We grew up together, and now we share our lives through Facebook and the occasional accidental meeting around town. She told me how much she enjoyed reading the recipes each week and how she adapted some of them to better fit her family’s special dietary needs.
Angela has two amazing children and a wonderful husband to feed, and she asked me if I had any low-calorie, low-carb or low-cholesterol recipes I could share with her to spice up their nightly dinner routine. Of course, I accepted the challenge. So over the next few months, I will be adding in some delicious dishes that will give all of us new healthy options.
When I got the request from Angela, fresh vegetable season was just starting here in Central Texas. Most of the carrots and onions are ready, and the zucchini and squash are just now starting to bud and bloom. I also found some nice tomatoes at my local grocery store. The best part of this side dish is you can use any vegetables you want, as long as they will stay on the grill.
First things, first. Combine the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it is not getting too thick. It will reduce down to about half of the original amount. Remove from heat to cool. (Just a heads up—balsamic vinegar has a very strong smell when cooking.)
While your sauce is cooking, wash and dry all of your vegetables. Cut them into large chunks or strips so they will cook throughout, but not fall through the grates. If you are using carrots, be sure to peel them.
Next, rub each vegetable piece with canola oil to keep them from sticking to the grill. Then add your seasoning. I prefer to use just a little bit of salt and pepper, but a low-sodium seasoning or lemon pepper would work well, too.
Now you are ready to grill. I decided to use zucchini, squash, carrots and grape tomatoes for our veggies. After preparing your grill, spray the grates lightly with non-stick grilling spray. This will prevent your vegetables from sticking. Place your vegetables on the grill over indirect or low heat. If you are using tomatoes, do not put them on until later, since they only take a minute or so to cook. Grill the other vegetables for 5-6 minutes on each side or until they become flexible.
This makes for a great summer side dish that is easily customized to many tastes. To serve, simply drizzle a little of the dipping sauce over the veggies or dip them straight in. The sauce has a very bold flavor, so a little bit goes a long way.
Thanks to Angela for letting me know about her desire for this type of recipe. If you have something you want to see, let me know. From all of us at Texas Table Top, enjoy!
Recipe: Grilled Veggies with Balsamic Dipping Sauce
Summary: Grilled summer veggies with a punch of flavor
- Fresh vegetables suitable for grilling
- Canola oil
- Grill spray
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- Heat vinegar and honey over medium heat, reducing by half. Set aside to cool.
- Wash, dry and prep all vegetables.
- Coat vegetables in thin layer of canola oil and season to taste.
- Grill over indirect or low heat for 5-6 minutes per side.
- Serve with dipping sauce either in a side dish or drizzled over the warm vegetables.
Prep time (duration): 5 minutes
Cooking time (duration): 20 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 2-4