SPRINGFIELD- Looking for a meatless meal? This could be your answer. Grilled fresh vegetables, a white bean salad and flavorful, yet simple, dressing make this a wonderful light dinner or appetizer. Leftover ingredients could be put into a vegetable lasagna for another meal later in the week.
For the white bean salad:
2 each 14.5 oz can cannelini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup finely diced onion
4 tbs finely minced parsley
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (not from the jar)
2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
½ tbs freshly grated black pepper
Combine beans, onions, parsley, pepper and parmesan cheese. Add olive oil, squeeze lemon juice into salad, toss, set aside
For the vegetable stack:
2 summer squash, sliced ½ inch at a 45 degree angle
2 zucchini, sliced ½ inch at a 45 degree angle
1 small eggplant, sliced ½ inch at a 45 degree angle
6 portabella mushroom caps
1 Spanish onion, sliced in ¼ inch rings, keep rings intact
1-2 pieces fresh mozzarella balls, sliced in 6 pieces
1 small jar roasted red peppers, slivered
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbs oregano
1 tsp black pepper
Place sliced summer squash and zucchini, onions, eggplant and portabella mushrooms on cookie pan. Combine olive oil, garlic, pepper and oregano. Brush olive oil mixture on vegetables. Shake off excess oil and place veggies carefully on the grill, watch for and avoid flare ups with oil going onto grill. Cook until crisp/tender, carry over cooking will finish cooking them through.
Set aside, allow veggies to cool slightly. Once cooled, make a stack of veggies, starting with zucchini, onion, eggplant, mozzarella, summer squash, portabella cap, 2-3 red pepper strips on top of mushroom. Should make about 6 stacks.
For the pesto oil:
4 tbs homemade or purchased basil pesto
8 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Divide bean salad among 6 plates, leaving an area in the center of the plate open (if there is extra salad, refrigerate for 3 days). Place 1 vegetable stack in center of plate. Drizzle pesto oil over stack and beans. Garnish with fresh parsley sprigs and more chopped parsley.