Week 21: Grilled Veggie Skewers with Fresh Herb Sauce
Does Father’s Day weekend mean it’s officially grilling season? Definitely a yes in my eyes. Although I will admit that I have a cast iron grill pan so I can easily “grill” things indoors all year round and it’s easier if I’ve got other things going on in the kitchen. Still, this time of the year, I start getting excited about grilled recipes. Veggie burgers are around the corner.
I bookmarked this recipe a while ago because I had heard about chimichurri sauce watching cooking shows but never tried it myself. The combination of grilled veggies with a bright fresh herb sauce sounded like a home run. Spoiler alert: it was.
For things like vegetable skewers, there’s a lot of flexibility in making them. You can leave out veggies you don’t like (aka mushrooms) and add in veggies you do. You can use whatever cooking oil you want (so long as it tolerates high heat, so NOT extra virgin olive oil). This recipe is a good template, and I especially like that it includes potatoes so these can encompass the veg and starch component to a meal in one go – score!
This herb sauce is delicious. I will note, however, that I later read through the comments and learned that this is not exactly an authentic chimichurri. So, I may have to make another chimichurri attempt in pursuit of learning what that sauce is officially all about, but in the meantime, this herb sauce is scrumptious. Check out the recipe from Minimalist Baker.
Ingredients: Veggies! Plus fresh herbs and a little bit of ripe avocado.
Timing: I got a little distracted here but probably 1h20min. Note that I cooked the veggies for a little longer than stated AND I used my grill pan so I had to cook them in two batches, so I do think you could cook this in less time.
Yield: 8 skewers
Serving: These are a PERFECT side dish for a summer barbecue meal!
How did it go? Pretty well! For the skewers, I used 1 large sweet potato, 6 baby potatoes, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, and 1 red onion. I omitted the mushrooms out of personal preference and the corn because I didn’t understand why it belonged in there since it couldn’t fit on the skewers. A few of the sweet potatoes crumbled a bit when I drained them from the boiling water, but I still had more than enough and other than that everything went well. I used grapeseed oil instead of avocado or coconut based on what I have on hand. I cooked them for 15-20 minutes and rotated them a third time to get everything nice and grilled – I like things tender and toasty.
For the sauce, I used mostly fresh herbs from my garden, which makes me SO happy! I love eating homegrown food and fresh herbs are packed with flavour. I also threw in a few chives, which were a nice touch. I had jalapenos on hand so I used one of those instead of a serrano. This worked well although it wasn’t very spicy.
Taste: SO GOOD. For starters, I genuinely love the taste of all of these vegetables and grilling them takes the flavour to the next level. The herb sauce is loaded with flavour, bright acidity, and is a fantastic pairing for these skewers. I don’t usually love leftovers, but I was super excited to eat these again for lunch and they were also amazing the next day.
- Choices – pick the veggies you like, use the cooking oil of your choice, put as much or as little salt and pepper as you enjoy. For the sauce, if you’re interpreting it as an herb sauce, I think it’s fine to add in whatever fresh herbs you enjoy. I used a jalapeno pepper instead of a serrano pepper based on what I have on hand but this would also be a good option if you like a milder level of heat/spice.
- Chopping – judge this based on the size of your vegetables and try to make things similar in size so they cook evenly. I would personally halve rather than quarter baby potatoes, as quarters would be too small to fit on the skewers. Judging by the pictures, the author didn’t either, so perhaps this is an error in the recipe as it is written.
- Skewers – if you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water before you use them. I started soaking them right away and soaked them while I did all the washing/chopping.
- Sauce – unless you like a sweet sauce, I would either use half the maple syrup or omit altogether. I tried it half sweet and it was fine, but I don’t even think it was necessary.
Luke’s review: A great combination of vegetables with a dynamite green chimichurri sauce to blend everything together oh so nicely. Onions were the toughest to get off the stick but the others slid off nicely. The sauce was spectacular – tasty fresh parsley and cilantro give it a lively healthy taste. The garlic also comes in at the end. I ate 4, probably could have a 5th, Elaine had 2 so you be the judge.
Luke’s recipe rating: thumbs up