Summertime is all about embracing the fresh fruits and vegetables that are so irresistible this time of year, and when you cook them on the grill the flavors are really able to come alive.
For the Romesco sauce
- 2 large red bell peppers
- ¹⁄₄ cup raw hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
- ¹⁄₄ cup dried bread crumbs
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ¹⁄₂ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¹⁄₂ cup grapeseed oil
For the vegetables
- 1 pound eggplant
- 1 pound assorted summer squashes
- 1 bunch red kale
- 8 ounces shishito peppers or small sweet peppers
- 8 ounces pole or Romano beans, stems and strings removed
- ¹⁄₄ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¹⁄₄ cup fresh lemon juice
- Fine sea salt
- Chopped toasted and skinned hazelnuts, for garnish
- Make the romesco sauce: Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to high for direct cooking. Grill the bell peppers until they are blackened all over, turning as needed. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let steam for 15 minutes. Peel away the skin and remove the seeds and membranes, capturing as much pepper juice as possible.
- In a food processor, combine the flesh of the peppers and their juices, the hazelnuts, bread crumbs, garlic, egg yolk, vinegar, paprika, and salt and process until very finely chopped, about 2 minutes. With the motor running, add the grapeseed oil in a slow, steady stream, processing until emulsified. Transfer to a bowl. (The sauce can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.) Grill the vegetables: If the grill is not already hot, prepare it for direct cooking over high heat. Cut the eggplant and squashes into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place in a large bowl. Remove the tough stems from the kale leaves and add the leaves to the bowl. Add the shishito peppers and the beans. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the vegetables and season with salt. Toss to coat the vegetables.
- Grill the vegetables over direct heat, turning as needed, for 8 to 10 minutes for the eggplant, 4 to 6 minutes for the peppers, beans, and squash, and 1 to 2 minutes for the kale. As the vegetables are ready, transfer them to a sheet pan.
- To serve: Spread the romesco sauce on a serving platter. Arrange the vegetables over the sauce. Garnish with the hazelnuts.