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1 small sweet potato (darker-skinned variety)
100 g mushrooms (champignons, shiitake
2 small carrots
1 small eggplant
1 small zucchini
1 small red bell pepper
1 small onion
200 ml balsamic vinegar of high quality
olive oil
2 thick slices of soft goat cheese ("chèvre") per diner
fresh sage
different lettuce varieties (
eg butterhead, oakleaf, lollo rosso, frisée, romaine etc)
lemon juice
black pepper

Prepare a balsamic vinegar syrup: cook the vinegar in a small saucepan on low heat until it has reduced into 1/3. Cover and let cool in refrigerator  —  the vinegar will thicken when it cools. If it gets too thick, dilute it with some apple juice.

Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables: roast the bell peppers on a charcoal barbecue, a gas grill or in oven and peel them, see the instructions here. Cut the peeled peppers in smaller pieces.

Peel the sweet potato and the carrots and cut them together with the rinsed eggplant and zucchini in 1 cm thick slices  —  first slice the carrots lengthwise and then cut the slices in half crosswise. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and lemon juice and set aside to "sweat".

Cook the sweet potato and carrot slices briefly in lightly salted boiling water  —  no longer than 2 to 5 minutes. Drain and place on paper towels. Cut the onion and the mushrooms in thin slices. Cook the mushroom slices in boiling water for about 5 - 10 minutes, drain and let dry thoroughly.

Grill the sweet potato, mushrooms, carrot, eggplant, zucchini and onion slices on both sides on a charcoal barbecue or gas grill. You may also use a stovetop grill pan. Heat the grill pan until very hot and brush it lightly with olive oil. Slowly broil all the vegetable slices and pieces in the pan  —  in several batches, if necessary  —  until nicely browned, turning them once. Season with a dash of salt and pepper.

Brush the goat cheese slices with olive oil  —  and drizzle with honey, if you like  —  and quickly broil in hot oven or grill until golden.

Wash, dry and tear the lettuce leaves in smaller pieces. Arrange the leaves on serving plates, place the chargrilled vegetable and cheese slices on top. Sprinkle with chopped sage and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar syrup. Serve immediately. You may also just crumble the goat cheese and sprinkle on top of the lettuce and vegetables without broiling it.
Serves 4 - 6.


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