Do you like Italian antipasti? You know, these delicious vegetables pickled in olive oil? Today we’ll see how to succeed in marinating summer produces like eggplants and zucchini. These will make perfect appetizers or side dishes to delight your guests. In summer, bell peppers, zucchinis and eggplants are in season. You have to grill them first, before pickling them for a long time in various mixtures of oil and herbs. But to really make a difference, there are some essential tips to know:
A good preparation
Clean, wash and pat dry vegetables. Cut them lengthwise, in stripes, or in cubes, depending on what you want. Trim both ends of eggplants and zucchinis, and seed an peel the peppers. You’ll remove the skin of bell peppers after having them roasted under an aluminium foil.
Roast in oven or grill on the barbecue
Roast vegetable for 30 minutes at 210°F (100°C), turning regularly to avoid drying. You can decrease cooking temperature and expand the cooking time, it will be even better. Grilling on BBQ bring an additional smokey flavor that is very appreciated. Watch out if you roast different kind of vegetables as they don’t cook as the same speed.
Make your own homemade marinade
Basic ingredients for a marinade are fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs & spices — oregano, thyme, rosemary… Once your vegetable are cut — if you cut them once more after cooking — baste them evenly. Here’s more about marinades here.
Master the art of spices
Some marinades are stronger than others. This mainly depends on spices used in the recipe <- red hot chili peppers, ginger, peppercorns — and the chosen level of acidity — vinegar and lemon juice. Alcohol can also make a preparation stronger in flavor. Don’t hesitate to shorten the marinating time by half to avoid your vegetable losing their taste in favor of the marinade.
Let rest properly
Vegetable need a resting time of minimum 4 hours at room temperature or in a cool place (50°F — 10°C). But I recommend one full day.