52 Week Challenge – Meal #8

Grilled Vegetables with Fresh Basil Pesto

Setting the mood for this meal, we went to one of our favorites on Spotify with their playlist for Vampire Weekend. One year ago, we saw this incredible band in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. We along with another fun couple (who knows – maybe they were the only fun couple of our group, but they appeared to enjoy our company) went on to have a most memorable weekend with various beer beverage pit stops from nearby small breweries. The overwhelming favorite was Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn – oh, the IPAs were magically delicious! Initially, we all thought that we would be revisiting this trip again this year – ho hum, thanks 2020.

Anyway – back to the meal prep! The veggies weren’t the only items grilled up for our dinner. We did throw on some chicken – nothing fancy there, so we didn’t highlight the bird breakdown within this Meal Challenge post. As for the actual “Grilled Vegetables with Fresh Basil Pesto” recipes, simply click on the recipe title for the links of what was borrowed (adapted?). As always, I’ll lay out what we followed as well as the changes that were made along the way.

The Line-up (Ingredients)

1 Red Onion
1 Red Pepper
1 Green Zucchini
1 Yellow Squash
Avocado Oil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
4 ounces goat cheese
1/3 cup pesto . . . buy in the store or make your own as we did!

(Basil – from our very own deck garden!)

1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
3 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
3 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Game Plan (Instructions)

1) Prepare the vegetables by quartering the zucchini and red pepper lengthwise and slicing the eggplant and onion into 3/4″ rounds.
2) Brush all the vegetables with avocado oil (or cooking oil of your choice) then season with sea salt and pepper.
3) Heat up your BBQ then turn the temperature down to low.
4) Place the vegetable pieces straight onto the grill and cook for 7-8 minutes or until the vegetables have become tender and have started to char flipping the pieces about halfway through the cook time.

(I got excited and posted this on social media)

5) When the veggies have cooked, arrange them onto a serving plate then drizzle with pesto and top with crumbled goat cheese.

(Later shot showing more meat)

1) Combine basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and lemon juice in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely minced. Scrape down the sides with a spoon or small rubber spatula.
2) While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Scrape down the sides as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week

(Final product via my wife!)
(my final shot showing off the white wine beverage)

This was a delicious summertime meal and fittingly right off of the grill. Most definitely a meal that we could revisit again. Plus, the process would have been even faster for us if we didn’t create our own pesto, but that was still fun. Nevertheless – we’ll be doing this meal in the nearby future.

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