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Veg Out with With These Summertime Cookout Recipes

May 25, 2021

The weather is heating up and school is winding down.

Summer is almost here and, with it, barbecues with family and friends.

Get the whole family on board to help put together a healthy side dish for a delicious meal that is as good as it is good for you.  It is a great way to get your vegetables into your diet!

Balsamic Grilled Vegetables

Grill salad


  • 1 ½ cups balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 3 (9 to 12-inch) carrots, sliced lengthwise, ¼-inch thick
  • 2 celery roots, trimmed and cut in ¼-inch slices
  • 3 large red onions, cut into rounds, 3/8-inch thick
  • 2 (7 to 8-inch) zucchini, sliced lengthwise, ¼-inch thick
  • 4 (4-inch), crooked neck squash, sliced lengthwise, ¼-inch thick
  • Oil, for brushing grill
  1. In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add vinegar, sugar, and honey; let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. In a 1 gallon resealable bag, add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and garlic and mix until combined; next add the carrots, celery root and onions.
  3. Allow to marinate for 10 more minutes.
  4. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  5. Brush grill with oil; add onions, carrots and celery root.
  6. Cook on both sides for 3 to 5 minutes, brushing with balsamic glaze; brown evenly on both sides.
  7. Remove to holding pan and cover with aluminum foil; add squash and zucchini to grill, brush with glaze and cook for 2 minutes per side, until evenly brown.
  8. Remove to holding pan, and cover until served. Drizzle veggies with remaining glaze and serve on a platter

Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad.

  • 5 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ½ cup sunflower kernels
  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.  Add the broccoli and blanch until bright green and slightly softened, about 3 minutes.  Drain well, run under cold water to stop the cooking, and drain again
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, onion, sugar and raisins. Add the broccoli and toss the coat with the dressing. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Just before servings, fold in the sunflower kernels.

Serve immediately.

Yield: 10 servings

Eggplant and Asparagus Napoleons

Vegetarian Stack




  • 1 large or 2 small eggplants, unpeeled, cut into 12 (1/2-inch thick) slices
  • 16 medium asparagus spears (about 1½ pounds), trimmed to 5-inch lengths
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat, or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.  Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill the eggplant until tender, about 4 minutes each side.  Grill the asparagus for 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally until crisp-tender.
  3. When cool enough to handle, cut the asparagus in half crosswise.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, basil, Pecorino Romano, lemon zest, and lemon juice until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Place 4 slices eggplant on a work surface. Spread each with 2 to 3 tbsp of the ricotta mixture. Line 4 pieces of asparagus, side-by-side, on top. Place another slice of eggplant on top and repeat the layers.  Top each napoleon with a slice of eggplant and place on a small baking sheet.  Bake until warmed through, about 10 minutes, and serve.

Sharon Knight is a transplant dietitian with the Hartford Hospital Transplant Program.