These vegetables are excellent when barbecued. Try them either by themselves or on skewers with meat or fish.
This purple Italian chicory is a spicy, slightly peppery, colorful addition to any barbecue. To grill, simply cut radicchio in half lengthwise, rinse under water and shake dry. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Grill over medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side.
These firm, fleshy fruits tend to hold their shape on the grill better than the round juicier varieties. Cut them in half, brush with olive oil and grill cut side down until slightly charred around the edges. Turn and grill another 2 to 3 minutes. Another method is to remove some of the flesh and stuff halves with goat, feta, or herb cheese. Grill cut-side up and don't turn them.
Cut in half horizontally. Do not peel. Drizzle cut halves with balsamic vinegar. Grill cut-side up over high heat, brushing with olive oil once or twice. When tender, flip them over and cook another minute or two.
Small eggplants can be fanned by cutting them lengthwise from the soft end to within 1/2 inch of the stem. Flair them out slightly, drizzle with olive oil, and grill for 2 to 3 minutes. As eggplant cooks, it will soften and may become "fanned out."
These are the large meaty gourmet mushrooms found in most supermarkets today. Buy the largest available, carefully remove stems, and wipe caps with a paper towel. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill gill-side up until cooked to your liking. When ready to serve, you may want to sprinkle them with Parmesan cheese.
Pork Kebabs with Apples, Fennel, Red Onion, Figs, and Sage Vinaigrette
The following kebabs will allow you to savor the delights of marinated pork, with a few interesting fruits and vegetables all cooked together. If figs are not available, substitute hunks of fresh pineapple.
1-1/2 pounds of lean, boneless pork shoulder or butt, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
1 fennel bulb, cut into wedges
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
2 unpeeled apples, quartered, cored, and cut into wedges
12 whole fresh figs, or whole dried figs soaked in warm water for 1/2 hour
Fresh sage leaves (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped, or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped, or 1 tablespoon crumbled dried sage leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Thread pork, vegetables, fruits, and sage leaves on metal skewers. Place kebabs in a flat nonaluminum container. Mix marinade ingredients and pour over kebabs. Marinate 1 to 2 hours, turning occasionally.
Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside.
When coals are hot, sear kebabs for 3 minutes, brush with vinaigrette, turn and brush again. Continue this process until pork is barely pink - about 12 minutes. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.
-- adapted from "Meat on the Grill: New Recipes for Beef, Lamb, Pork and Other Meats," by David Barich and Thomas Ingalls (HarperPerennial)