Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Roasted Vegetable Kabobs with Lemon-Scallion Vinaigrette - #recipe

LESLIE: When I met Mr. Right, his kitchen consisted of a half-size fridge, a hot plate, and a grill outside the back door. We've upgraded the equipment since then, but our cooking still  involves a lot of grilling. And this grilled veggie combo is a lot of fun. Getting all the ingredients to cook properly at roughly the same time is easier than it may seem – and because this is a flavorful summer dish, you don’t need them all hot half a minute before serving anyway.

We debated what to serve alongside these veggies, and ended up grilling burgers, but it would also work well as a side for steaks, salmon, or chicken.

If gluten isn’t an issue for you, let me tell you my favorite new way to serve pita, cribbed from Walker’s in Billings, Montana, where we had a yummy dinner of shared small plates a few weeks ago. Brush your pita with garlic-infused oil and sprinkle with za’atar, the Middle Eastern spice blend. Some za’atars include sesame seeds; if yours doesn’t, add a few black and white sesame seeds before you grill. (My favorite real-life spice shop, World Spice Merchants in Seattle, makes both an Israeli za’atar, which is predominantly green, and a Syrian za’atar, a lovely dark red. We tried and loved both, though the Syrian version may have been our fave, and is more like what Walker’s used.)

A yummy alternative for the leftovers is to make a salad bowl, using multi-colored quinoa (gluten-free) or couscous (not so gluten-free) as the base, and adding the roasted veggies, seasoned beans, toasted nuts or seeds, chunks of avocado, and any other veggies, raw or pickled, hanging out in your fridge. Some crumbled blue cheese would be tasty, too.

Vegetable Kabobs with Lemon-Scallion Vinaigrette

1 large lemon, halved
1 teaspoon honey
olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions or green onions, finely chopped
2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 small yellow crookneck squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange), cored and seeded, and cut into eighths
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

skewers (if yours are bamboo, soak for 30 minutes before using)

Heat the grill before you begin chopping. Grill the lemon halves, cut sides down, until charred, 4-6 minutes. Juice the lemon. Whisk in the honey (you may want to warm it first to make it easier to mix), 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust as needed. Stir in the chopped scallions.

Thread the zucchini, crookneck, peppers, and tomatoes on separate skewers. Start your grilling with the zucchini and crookneck; after about 5 minutes, add the peppers to the grill; after about 10 minutes, add the tomatoes. Total grilling time should be about 20 minutes. The squash and peppers should be lightly charred and the tomatoes soft and just beginning to blister. Test with a fork.

Place the skewers on your serving platter and drizzle the veggies with half the vinaigrette. Top with mint and serve, with the extra vinaigrette on the side.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

"Budewitz's finely drawn characters, sharp ear for dialogue, and well-paced puzzle make Jewel Bay a destination for every cozy fan." --- Kirkus Reviews

From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, June 2018, available in trade paper, e-book, and audio):  

In Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. Nicely done.
    What is the difference in the za'atar types?

    1. The ingredients are quite different, as is the color. Let's see if I can link to the World Spice site -- https://www.worldspice.com/blends Scroll down to the Zs. :)

    2. Fascinating.

  2. Looks delicious! Never heard of za'atar seasoning.

    1. Spice is all about blends these days -- za'atar is Middle Eastern.

  3. That za'atar seasoning sounds yummy.