Grilled Vegetables & Dipping Tzatziki

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Submitted by: Deborah Goldstein, Driven Professionals

In early April, a short vacation found me in a place and predicament where a temporarily odd diet was in order. You see, my recent departure from consuming seafood (the result of a strange intolerance to one of my favorite culinary categories) combined with the decadence of some of the best restaurant menus in Boca Raton had me tempted beyond resistance to consume meat for ten meals in a row….succulent, exotic meat, in unrealistically large quantities. I’m not complaining; The weather was perfect and the scenery delightful. In fact, I returned home 2 pounds lighter than when I left. However, this carnivorous tear left me with an escalating desire to “detox”, if you will, from my protein overload.

Upon my return to a thawed-out Northeast, it took 3 days before I could even bear to glance at the beautiful rack of lamb and loin of pork which sat cozily in the freezer. My body and palate yearned for vegetables, which prompted me to “repurpose” our recently unearthed barbecue grill to accommodate my craving. It was then that the memories of last summer all came flooding back into my brain: We had indeed grilled more than just steaks, burgers and sausages on that bad-boy, and we were never charged with a crime!

Out came the chopping board, slicing knife, and a drawer-full of fresh organic veggies covering a broad swath of the color spectrum. The sight of shiny eggplants and bulging bell peppers had never seemed nearly as appetizing as on that day. The project was under way to create a delightful dinner of entirely vegetarian content, centered around grilled vegetables. Vidalia onions became as sweet as caramel, and Yukon potatoes had the seared-in fluffiness of steak fries. Plus, the effect of the grill marks served to add a psychological layer of yummy to the whole spread. The final touch: 2 types of Greek tzatziki for dipping!

If you’re ready for your own carnivore’s detox before the start of grilling season proper, round up the following veggies and other ingredients from your favorite sources, fire up the barbecue and have at it. And remember, it’s veggies; There’s plenty of room here for interpretation and tweaks.

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Grilled Vegetables & Dipping Tzatziki (Serves 4)

Grilled Vegetables & Dipping Tzatziki, deborah goldstein, recipies, the three tomatoesThe Veggies:

  • 1 Large Yukon Gold Potato
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 Vidalia Onion
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 2 Avocados
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

The Bell Pepper: The day before your feast, grill the whole bell pepper on medium-high until skin is partially blackened. On the day of your feast, grill the pepper again, slicing it afterwards into strips and discarding the inner chambers and seeds.

The Onion: Slice into 4 wedges, so that each wedge is held together by its portion of the root.

The Eggplant: Slice off the top and bottom and discard. Then slice the eggplant into long, half-inch thick slices. Salt all sides of the slices and let them “sweat” for 10 minutes. Pat dry.

The Potato & Sweet Potato: Peel and slice into half-inch thick discs.

The Avocados: Peel, cut into halves

Heat your grill to medium (350-400F).

Place all veggies except bell pepper and avocados into an oversized mixing bowl, drizzle with oil, salt and pepper, and toss until all are evenly coated.

Place all veggies onto grill for 5 minutes on each side, or until grill marks are nicely present. Remove and serve, using Tzatzikis as condiments.

The Tzatziki:

Link to our previous article HERE to find directions for preparing tzatziki. Then, apply them to the following ingredients for two different exotic takes on this Greek specialty.

Dill & Horseradish Tzatziki Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups Chobani Plain Yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Gold’s horseradish
  • The Zest of ¼ of a lemon (optional)
  • ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to accent
  • Salt & Pepper

Eastern Tzatziki Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups Chobani Plain Yogurt
  • 1 Medium Carrot, finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp Garham Masala
  • ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

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deborah goldstein, driven professinals, recipes, restaurateur, the three tomatoesDeborah Goldstein is a successful restauranteur and founder of the Driven Professionals, a community composed to serve NYC professionals sharing the common goal of career advancement, while integrating family life and personal development.

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