Roasting vegetables in foil packets in the coals of a grill brings out their deep flavors and adds just a hint of smoke. The vegetables are served on a platter with a rich zaatar and lemon dressing and a shower of crumbled feta. Make this Mediterranean-inspired combination the centerpiece of a vegetarian summer meal or as a side dish for your next barbecue.
Prepare a charcoal grill with a hot bed of coals for indirect cooking. The coals are ready when they are ashed over and glowing.
Mix together 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the oregano, smoked paprika and garlic in a large bowl. Add the carrots, peppers, corn, eggplant, potatoes and zucchini to the olive oil mixture and toss to combine, making sure each piece is fully coated with the marinade.
Tear off eight 12-by-18-inch pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil and arrange them in stacks of 2 on a work surface (you should have 4 stacks). Divide the vegetables among the stacks, about 2 heaping cups per pouch.
For each stack, bring the 2 long sides of the foil together and fold the edges over each other a few times to seal, leaving room around the vegetables for steam. Fold over the edges of the short sides to seal.
Carefully spread the coals using a large pair of tongs, then add the foil packets and cover them with coals. Cover the grill with the lid and cook until the vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into each packet; it should easily slide all the way through the vegetables.
Remove the foil packets to a heatproof work surface and let cool for 5 minutes before carefully opening. Use a spatula or a large spoon to transfer the contents to a platter. Sprinkle the vegetables with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Whisk together the lemon juice, zaatar, sumac, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon water and the remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables, making sure they are all well coated. Crumble the feta over the vegetables. Taste and add more salt or pepper, if needed.
It’s best to use a block of feta for this recipe and crumble it with your hands since pre-crumbled feta is not as moist and creamy.
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