This is a great, colourful starter that can even be made ahead the day before. It’s like your own homemade vegetable antipasto – but it costs a fraction of what you pay at delis, tastes much better and it’s preservative free!
Every time I make this, someone always asks “what did you put on the vegetables?” They never believe me when I say “Just salt, pepper and olive oil”!
There is no fancy secret to this. It’s just chargrilled vegetables, seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. The “must do” part is cooking the vegetables until they are charred (i.e. burnt!). It’s the flavour base of this entire dish!
“This gets even better if it’s made the day before. It’s just like the vegetable antipasto you buy at delis – but without that sour taste (and costs a lot less!).”
As simple as this recipe is, what you may not know is that this is fabulous even if made the day before. In fact, I think it gets better because the vegetables sweat out juices overnight leaving a more intense flavour. It makes it taste even more like the vegetable antipasto that you can buy over the counter at delis, except the homemade version doesn’t have the vinegary flavour that commercial antipasto has which I think is to make it last longer. I don’t know about overseas, but here in Australia the mixed vegetable antipasto costs around $25/kg which is more than double what it costs to make at home.
I mentioned earlier that I kept this very simple with just salt, pepper and olive oil. And it really does not need anything else. But sometimes I like to sprinkle over some fresh or dried herbs (after cooking it) and lemon zest adds a nice touch as well.
I made this as an appetiser for an Arabian Feast I recently made. 7 dishes that took 1 hour to prepare – 3 starters (including this Chargrilled Vegetable Platter), 2 meat dishes plus 2 salads. I’ll be doing a post on the menu soon but here’s a little preview for you!
1 Hour Arabian Feast Menu
For the Men to Grill
Because we must have Greens (and cater for Vegetarians)
I’ll be preparing a post rounding up the full menu and explaining how to prepare it in 1 hour, how to store it and what needs to be done on the day.
A great way to eat greens without feeling like a rabbit!! – Nagi
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), cut into slices
- 1 red onion, peeled and cut into 12 wedges
- 1 large eggplant, sliced vertically into ½ cm / ⅕" slices
- 3 zucchinis, sliced vertically into thin slices
- 3 squash, sliced into thin slices
- Olive oil
- Parsley or coriander leaves and lemon wedges, for garnish
- ½ cup Greek yoghurt
- ½ garlic clove, crushed
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Extra pinch of cumin, for garnish
- Combine the Yoghurt Sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix. Set aside in the fridge until required.
- Heat the outdoor grill on high (hot plate side). Or a heavy based pan on the stove on high heat.
- Drizzle olive oil on the hot plate / fry pan.
- Place vegetables on the grill / fry pan and cook until charred (about 1½ - 2 minutes). Turn over then cook the other side until charred (about 1½ minutes). Don't worry if the vegetables are a bit undercooked, they will continue to cook while resting.
- Remove from the hot plate / fry pan and place in a bowl. Sprinkle the vegetables in the bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Repeat with remaining vegetables, and pile the vegetables on top of each other in the bowl. Don't forget to add a pinch of salt and pepper on each layer of vegetables.
- Cover and let it cool to room temperature.
- If you are making this ahead, place the vegetables in the refrigerator until required. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- To serve, place the vegetables on a platter, drizzle over olive oil (the more generous the better!) then garnish with parsley/coriander leaves and lemon wedges (if using). Place the yoghurt on the side (garnish with a pinch of cumin powder) and serve with flatbread or crusty bread.
2. This is great made the day before. The vegetables sweat overnight so when you serve it, the vegetables aren't juicy. So it is even more like the antipasto you buy from delis.
3. I kept this very simple with just salt, pepper and olive oil. Sometimes I add a sprinkle of dried herbs, chili or spices. I also sometimes like to add lemon zest and/or lemon juice.
4. If you make this on the outdoor grill, not only do you get extra chargrilled flavour, you will be able to make this much faster because the hotplate is larger than fry pans. I can make this in 2 batches on my hotplate which means that if I serve it hot, it's on the table in 15 minutes!
The Nutrition assumes 3 tbsp of olive oil is used.