Labor Day is just a few days away, which means that we’re approaching the unofficial end of summer. The days are a little shorter, and the nights are a little cooler. Autumn is my favorite season, and I’m already looking forward to mugs full of warm apple cider and bowls of hot pumpkin soup.
Summer is still here for a few weeks though, and I’m still grilling a lot of my meals in the backyard. I especially enjoying sitting outside now that the weather isn’t so swelteringly hot. I love grilling up all manor of vegetables and serving them with different sauces. I love corn on the cob with pesto and non-dairy parmesan, eggplant with spicy tahini, and lettuce (yes, I grill lettuce) with tangy vegan buttermilk dressing. I’ll definitely be outside firing up the barbecue over the holiday weekend, and these Grilled Summer Vegetables with Easy Romesco Sauce will definitely be on the menu.
Romesco is a sauce made with roasted red peppers, and almonds or hazelnuts, and it originates from the Catalonia area of Spain. Making it is a little labor intensive, as it involves roasting peppers and tomatoes and grinding nuts. My Easy Romesco Sauce is made with jarred roasted red peppers, canned tomatoes, and almond butter, so it only takes a few minutes to prepare. It can be made a few days ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
I used a big mixture of summer vegetables in this recipe, including summer squash, zucchini, and sweet onions. I used small, green eggplant, but any type of eggplant will do. And if you don’t like eggplant, just leave it out and use a vegetable you do like instead! This dish is delicious served hot, straight off the grill, and it’s also quite tasty when served as cold leftovers the next day, too.
Romesco sauce is usually served with meat of some sort, which, of course, is very unvegan. I really enjoy it with vegetables and tofu. It really compliments the flavor of grilled summer vegetables nicely. You can drizzle over just about any vegetable you can think of, use it as a pasta sauce, spread it on sandwiches, or just enjoy it on a piece of thick, crusty bread.
- 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
- 12 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
- ½ cup almond butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 zucchinis
- 2 summer squashes
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 sweet onions
- 2-4 small (or one large) eggplant
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- ¼ cup chopped parsley, loosely packed
- To make the sauce, add the roasted red peppers, diced tomatoes, almond butter, garlic, red wine vinegar, smoked paprika, and sea salt to a food processer, and process until very finely chopped. While the motor is running, slowing pour in the olive oil in a steady stream, and continue to process until the mixture is smooth.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high, or heat a grill pan on a stove over medium-high heat.
- Cut the vegetables into slices about ¼” to ½” thick.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Lightly brush the mixture on the vegetables.
- Grill the vegetables until tender and heated throughout with nice grill marks, about five to ten minutes per side.
- Serve the vegetables drizzled with sauce and garnished with slivered almonds and parsley.