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Hometown Recipes: Grilled Vegetables With Mozzarella And Balsamic Appetizer

By: Erin Walgamuth

We grilled steaks and vegetables on the barbecue a few days ago when the weather was warm. It all smelled so wonderful wafting through the evening air mixed with the lovely scent of jasmine.

My jasmine is in bloom and there is a bird’s nest nestled inside of it just above the light by the back door. Ah spring! This provides great entertainment for our kitten who sits by the glass door and watches the birds fly in and out of the beautiful vine all day long.

There is something wonderful about cooking dinner outside on a warm spring evening. Best of all is cooking your whole meal…well almost, on the grill.

We had this dish as a side the other night, but I usually serve it as an appetizer. I hope you will not be annoyed that I am using balsamic vinegar yet again. It’s just that the vinegar is an important part of this recipe, so please forgive me! Enjoy

Serves 4

Prep time about 15 minutes

Grill time is up to you

You will need;

Grill
Tongs
13x9 baking dish or platter for vegetables
6 inch heavy-bottomed sauce pan with lid
Small brush for brushing olive oil on vegetables


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1 medium red bell pepper, cut in half, stem and seeds removed
1 medium orange or yellow bell pepper, cut in half, stem and seeds removed
2 medium zucchini, ends removed
Olive oil for brushing on vegetables
Kosher or sea salt to sprinkle on vegetables
1/3 cup of fresh basil, finely chopped
1 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
2 medium balls of fresh mozzarella cut into rounds. I buy my fresh mozzarella at Trader Joe’s

Slice each pepper half into four pieces length wise. Slice the zucchini length wise into half-inch slices.

Brush the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt on both sides. Put vegetables in glass baking dish, set aside.

Put balsamic vinegar and sugar in the sauce pan, stir to combine. Turn heat to medium high to bring vinegar to a boil. When vinegar boils turn heat down to medium-low or to a gentle simmer. Stir from time to time. Cook until reduced to about ½ cup. Turn off heat, cover the pan with lid and set aside.

Heat your grill to medium high and place zucchini on the grill. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until it becomes tender. Put the peppers on grill and cook all the vegetables until tender and blackened in places.  Remove from grill.

Place vegetables and slices of mozzarella on plates. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the vegetables and mozzarella. Sprinkle with chopped basil and serve. Enjoy!

Note: You could make a warm vegetable and mozzarella salad out of this too. Just cut the veggies and mozzarella into chunks and gently toss with the warm vinegar reduction then sprinkle with the basil.

Erin Walgamuth has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe section.

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