Grilled Vegetables with Asian Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

There, I guess King George will be able to read that.
John Hancock,
after signing the Declaration of Independence

4th of July week at the beach we pretty much hunker down, with all of the goings on around our small town including beach and boating traffic it is difficult to get around, 4 lane highways leading to a two lane bridge, doesn’t make much sense and then anyone that doesn’t do a lot of boating throughout the summer, shows up for the long holiday weekends. The Marine Patrol and Coast Guard sure have their hands full for the next two weeks. So while we wait to enjoy our local beaches and waterways until after the weekend I plan special dinners and we celebrate with close friends at home.

I planned the menus for the week early to avoid traffic and the stores that are packed with people that “special shade of red” still bypassing the “sun lotion and potion” aisles and displays, they don’t burn is still their mantra. Sadly even the vegetable stands have traffic jams and should have parking attendants and probably need traffic cops.

Grilled Vegetables with Asian Dressing

I’ll be doing a lot of grilling starting with a new and fresh approach to the weekly menu; Bon Appétit has an absolutely delicious grilled vegetable dish dressed with Asian-style vinaigrette. Served with jasmine rice and fresh coconut a good vegetarian meal by itself, but I served grilled it as a side dish to Asian marinated chicken thighs.

I could drink the dressing…Grilled veggies nothing new around here and I absolutely love grilled okra, we are in okra country after all and an Asian twist is just perfect for my taste.

While the rest of the “garden” has suffered somewhat this year my herbs are fantastic producing an abundance of basil, parsley, mint and the last of the cilantro all added to the grilled vegetable dish.

My thanks to Janet and John for all of the squash!

A perfect cocktail to enjoy while grilling, “Patron Lemon Martini” fantastic!

Patron Lemon Martini

1 ounce Patron Silver
½ ounce Patron Citronge
1 ounce simple syrup
3 ounces fresh lemon juice
Club soda or Pellegrino water, my preference
Lemon garnish

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shake, shake vigorously, strain into martini glass, top with soda or Pellegrino, garnish with lemon.

Grilled Vegetables with Asian Dressing
Adapted from Bon Appétit

2-4 main dish or side dish

Wash all vegetables
1 medium-large yellow squash, halved
1 medium-large zucchini, halved
3 small Japanese eggplants, halved
3-4 banana peppers, hot if all your guests like hot a little heat or keep the hot ones separate
6 or so mini red, yellow, and orange peppers
12 okra pods, I love grilled okra and added quite a few more
2-3 ears fresh corn
¼ cup fresh coconut or unsweetened
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

4 cups steamed Jasmine rice

Asian Fish Sauce Dressing ~ I doubled the dressing ingredients, but not the herbs

1 clove minced garlic, 1 teaspoon palm or light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 2 cups loosely packed, fresh herbs, cilantro, basil, fennel fronds, marjoram, mint and tarragon.

Season all of the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Heat and prepare the grill.  Grill all the vegetables until tender crisp, but still with some nice grill marks, cut squash into 1” pieces and cut corn kernels off the cob, leave okra whole as well as the peppers, toss, add dressing, herbs and fresh coconut.