Thursday, July 12, 2012

on the side - rosemary veggie kabobs

Our oven has gone out.

I guess I should say I am so sad, but - oh my goodness - I am not.  Both houses we've lived in have come equipped with one, so this is the first time I've been able to pick out my own.  This is big-time exciting for someone who loves to cook.

The down side for now, though, is I am somewhat limited to what I can do for dinner.  We do grill more than anything during the summer, so I suppose it's not too out of the norm for us, but you still have to think a little bit more about how you're going to prepare.

My last grocery trip was a raid on in-season veggies.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I rocked that shopping cart in the produce aisle throwing in this and that, falling in love with the colorful bounty, and totally acting like I had a plan.  When I went to put it all together the other night for dinner, very excited about doing my favorite thing to vegetables (and the only thing I could do with them at the time - grill 'em), I realized my bright idea for vegetable kabobs wasn't going to work too well without skewers.

(That's what I get for not making a plan.)

But then I decided to use the monster Rosemary plant bush we have growing in one of our flower beds.  I had been craving the herb recently anyway, so when I cut the branches to collect some leaves for the marinade, I remembered having seen the sturdy stalks used as... you guessed it... kabob sticks (a.k.a. God's skewers)!

In no time flat, I had the marinade whipped up, the chicken coming to room temperature before grilling, and all was well with dinner plans.  I threw it all on the grill, and before I knew it, dinner was served!

Call me overly emotional about my food if you'd like, but I truly did look at those kabobs on the grill with all their color and natural goodness and thought about how awesome God is.  It just wouldn't have had to be so pretty, all this creation stuff, and yet He loved us enough to make it so.  Don't forget to look around in every moment of the day, including mealtimes...  He. Is. Everywhere.

Rosemary Veggie Kabobs
makes 6-8 servings
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 small yellow squash
  • 1 pint grape/cherry tomatoes*
  • 8 Rosemary sprigs        
For the marinade
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • leaves from one Rosemary sprig
  • sea salt/pepper to taste  
~ Whisk together marinade ingredients in large bowl.  Set aside.
~ Slice eggplant into half-inch rounds, crosswise.  Cut rounds into eighths.  
~ Slice squash down middle, lengthwise, and cut each half in half again.  Cut slices into half-
    inch pieces.
~ Add all the vegetables and tomatoes to the marinade and stir thoroughly.  Cover with 
    plastic wrap and let sit for 45 minutes to one hour. 
~ Meanwhile, strip leaves from remaining Rosemary sprigs from bottom two-thirds of 
    stems.  Soak stems in water while marinade sits.
~ About 15 minutes before ready to skewer kabobs, set a hot fire in grill.
~ Place skewered kabobs on grill, turning occasionally, until slightly charred and tender, 
    approx. 8-10 minutes.

* Grape/Cherry tomatoes are certainly the easiest to use for kabobs, but I couldn't pass up 
   using fresh-picked ones from our garden.  I halved them and halved again, cutting the 
   quarters into chunks.  As you can see in the picture, they grilled beautifully.

Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma