Summer Vegetables to Enjoy, Tourlou & Grilled Veggies

Grilled zucchini. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

Summer vegetables are a treat in season. Filled with vitamins, nutrients and fiber, vegetables are a great addition to any diet. Enjoy the following recipes this summer when the natural flavors are at their sun-kissed peak. Tourlou is a mixture of vegetables that makes a great side dish or vegan/vegetarian meal. Several different versions of the dish are popular throughout Greece and in various countries throughout the world. Enjoy with some fresh bread to dip in the flavorful sauce.

Tourlou

1 large onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
5 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 green bell peppers
1 pound fresh string beans, cut in two inch pieces
4 medium potatoes, cubed
2 eggplant, cubed
2 zucchini, cut in inch pieces
1 package (10 ounces) frozen artichoke hearts
1/4 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Water

In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the garlic, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, string beans, potatoes, 2 cups water, the salt, and the freshly ground pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the eggplant, zucchini, artichoke hearts, and the parsley and simmer, stirring occasionally. Additional water may be added, if needed. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, but not disintegrated. Serve warm with a drizzle of additional olive oil and sprinkle with additional parsley, if preferred.

Eggplant. Public domain

Grilled Veggie Skewers

2-3 zucchini or summer squash, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 small-medium onions, quartered
16 grape or cherry tomatoes
2 small eggplants, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Greek dried oregano
Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a large mixing bowl, toss the vegetables with the olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Use metal or water-soaked wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 15 minutes and skewer the vegetables alternating the zucchini, onion, tomatoes, and eggplant as preferred. Grill the veggie skewers on a prepared grill over medium heat with cover closed for about 10 minutes or until desired tenderness, and turning with barbecue tongs about halfway through the cooking process.

Grilled Zucchini or Summer Squash

2 medium-large zucchinis or summer squash, sliced about 1/4-1/2 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2-4 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
Lemon

Rinse and pat dry the the zucchini or summer squash, if preferred, you can peel them. Slice into 1/4-1/2 inch thick rounds. Remove any seeds, if needed. Place the slices in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, the olive oil, and toss to coat completely. Clean and prep the grill. Heat the grill to medium and cook the vegetables until tender and grill marks form, a few minutes on each side. Remove from heat and place in a serving platter with fresh lemon juice, to taste.