Grilled Herb Vinaigrette with Grilled Vegetables

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

12 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise

11 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

Kosher salt 

1 tablespoon ground cumin 

2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded 

1 teaspoon sweet paprika 

2 large leeks, ends trimmed 

14 to 16 sprigs flat-leaf parsley 

1 jalapeno, seeded and halved 

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar 

1 medium orange, juiced 

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 

Directions

  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high.
  2. Drizzle the carrots on a baking sheet with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with salt and use a small strainer to sprinkle evenly with the cumin. Arrange the bell pepper halves cut-side up next to the carrots, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and sift with paprika.
  3. Cut the outer layer off the leeks and trim and discard 2 inches off the top. Split the leeks lengthwise and rinse the dirt out from the inside layers. Wipe dry and keep them in intact halves. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Grill the vegetables (leeks and peppers cut-side down) in a single layer in a medium-hot area of the grill. Close the lid and cook until you see liquid emerge, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn everything on its second side, then close the lid and cook until the peppers are tender but still hold their shape, 5 to 8 more minutes.
  5. Move the peppers to a cooler or foiled area of the grill, then close the lid and let the carrots and leeks continue to cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, an additional 5 to 8 minutes.
  6. Season the parsley in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place the parsley on a medium-hot part of the grill and cook until fairly charred, 10 to 12 minutes. Chop the parsley finely. Drizzle the jalapeno with 1 tablespoon olive oil and grill until charred, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the jalapeno from the grill and coarsely chop.
  7. Combine the red wine vinegar, brown sugar and orange juice in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the mustard, parsley and jalapeno. Taste for seasoning.
  8. Place the leeks on a flat surface and cut each half into 3 even pieces. Cut the peppers in half again. Arrange the carrots, peppers and leeks on a serving platter and top with the dressing.

Cook’s Note

Grilling is something that I associate with American cooking, and with the spring and summer months. I just caught a wonderful waft of hamburger grease as I was strolling down the street this afternoon, and it straight-up made my stomach growl. Of course, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and shrimp are classics for the grill, but I find myself increasingly gravitating toward unusual grilled vegetables. It's a new way of looking at the grill. What flavors. And grilling keeps the food light and "clean" but loads it with tons of flavor. I also use this method of making a little vinaigrette (you can also make a simple one with one part lemon juice and two parts olive oil), then tossing some vegetables like eggplant or asparagus on the grill and cooking until tender. I char them for a few minutes in the hot area of the grill, then move them to a cooler spot to finish cooking without overcharring. Then, I douse with vinaigrette and devour. Here are some tips for grilling vegetables: Be patient. Some vegetables take longer or less time to cook. The cooking times here are parameters. Touch the vegetables and cook until tender. Place a double-layer of foil in a less-hot section of the grill so you can use that area as a refuge if the vegetables get too charred before they are tender. Keep the lid closed when cooking.