Saturday, April 12, 2014

Grilled Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes and FENNEL! - 52 Side Dishes from the Grill


Ya gotta love a grill pan...

It's that odd looking frying pan with holes in it.  The holes are there so you can crisp and char loose cut vegetables (like these).  Here's a master griller secret for you... This is the lazy man's way to make vegetable kabobs.  In fact, this method would work fine with meat as well.  Think Saute Pan that allows the charring and smoke flavors to be added to your dishes!

  But Wait... On Amzon, I even found this terrific item I need next that has a stainless steel mesh in place of the holes, allowing even more charring space for the veggies... Next thing on my want list.

But, no matter what style of pan you use (you can even use a "Regular" pan on the grill, you just lose the char and a lot of the smoke flavor you add by fire cooking).  It is always dramatic cooking vegetables like this on a grill.  They cook fast (usually in only a few minutes, perfect to cook while your meat "rests" before slicing.

This dish has a couple of tricks... First is the sweet potatoes, you really will not be able to get them fully cooked on the grill.  I par cook them, meaning cooking about 3/4 of the way, before I move to a grill.  You can do this in the  oven, boiling, steaming or I prefer to just use the microwave.  Once you have them almost cooked, coated with garlic oil, they will finish cooking and crisp up just fine.

The second is the fennel!  I LOVE Fennel, that sweet almost licorice flavor really shines in this recipe.  But, be sure to (again) Par cook the fennel by soaking in the Warm/almost Hot Garlic Oil for a few minutes before moving to the grill.  This allows the oil to soften the fennel rings so they fully cook and are the right texture.

Other than that, very very easy, only a few ingredients and DELICIOUS!

OK... Here's what I did...

Grilled Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes and FENNEL!

  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Large Fennel Bulb, Sliced
  • 4 Medium Sweet Potatoes, parboiled (or parcooked in a microwave), just shy of fully cooked
  • 1-1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
Cooking Directions
  1. Over low to medium heat, add the minced garlic to a saute pan with the Olive Oil. Heat for 20 minutes to infuse the oil.
  2. After 20 minutes, add the Fennel slices and slow simmer until the Fennel starts to soften, about 5 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, parcook the sweet potatoes to just before finished cooked. They will finish cooking on the grill. You can steam, bake or microwave. Once parcooked, peel and cut into cubes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Fennel and Garlic Oil and mix well.
  5. Time to move out to the grill... In a nonstick spray treated grill pan, over high heat on the grill, add all the ingredients and saute until the potatoes start to crisp on the outside.
  6. Mix well during cooking so all the veggies have a chance to crisp and char over the heat.
  7. Serve HOT as a side dish and ENJOY!!!
Served up with a Jerk Spiced Mustard  rubbed Pork Loin (tomorrows post) and you have a complete meal!

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