Monday, September 6, 2010

Farewell, Summer Grilled Veggies

Let's face it: You can sauté them, roast them, stuff them, or eat them raw, but does any cooking method really compare to grilling your vegetables?

With Labor Day weekend upon us, it seemed appropriate to bust out our little Smoky Joe charcoal grill and give it one final heat-up before the summer comes to a close. On the menu? Grilled Veggie and Goat Cheese Quesadillas--a recommendation from one of the Hungry Spoon's wonderful readers :)

As a side note, I must remind you of my die-hard love for grilling all things vegetarian. That's right: charcoal and grill marks aren't just for the carnivores. Forget the kielbasa and ribs, my friends--it's bean burgers, pizza dough, and veggies on this little grill! Remember those awesome Grilled-Veggie Pesto Pizzas? Oh, the delicious-ness. And how could we forget S'Mores?

Last night grill-icious quesadilla dinner was easy-peasy, full of fiber (woo-hoo!), and super filling. It's based on a blending of two recipes: one sent by reader and friend Jamie (found at this link on Family Fun's website), and the other found in Andrea Chesman's cookbook 365 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans, and Grains (recipe titled "Black Bean & Goat Cheese Quesadillas").

So, friends, let us bid farewell to Mr. Smoky Joe until next spring. We'll be trading in his beautiful grill-marks and smoky flavor for soups, casseroles, and the classic stovetop veggie saute. He'll be missed for sure.

Happy Labor Day!

Grilled Veggie and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
(adapted from recipes in Andrea Chesman's cookbook and the Family Fun website)

Goat cheese on quesadillas? Unbeatable. We're so used to using cheddar on these tasty grilled delights that we forget about the wonders of smooth, delicious chevre. Goat cheese has got it going on.

  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 - 2 zucchinis, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • a little olive oil
  • a little lime juice
  • Smoked paprika (or other smoke seasoning)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans
  • Goat cheese (yummmm)
  • Tortilla shells
  • Your trusty outdoor grill
  • For garnish: chopped avocado, salsa, chopped tomato, shredded lettuce or spinach

1) Prepare grill for cooking.

2) Place bell pepper, onion, zucchini, and garlic in a bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil and lime juice over the veggies. Sprinkle with smoke seasoning, pepper and salt (to taste). Thoroughly mix until veggies are evenly coated.

3) Spray a grill pan with non-flammable grill cooking spray. Place veggies in grill pan and place on the grill. Cook until tender, or until they get those awesome grill marks (about 5 - 8 minutes?). Remove from grill.

4) On one half of a tortilla, spread a little goat cheese and sprinkle some black beans (about 1/4 - 1/3 cup?). Top with grilled veggies and fold other half of tortilla over.

5) Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place folded quesadilla in pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Flip quesadilla and cook until the other side is golden brown (about 1-2 minutes).

6) Top with chopped avocado, salsa, chopped tomatoes, and shredded lettuce or spinach.


  1. Anything on the grill is amazing, in my opinion. Even veggies I'm not a fan of taste better! And you got to love a charred pita pizza. I made one earlier in the summer and everyone thought I was crazy but it was the most delish thing ever!

  2. Yum! That looks really good . . . and great pictures too!

  3. Those look so delicious! I have been browsing your blog and totally love it. Your recipes are amazing. Can't wait to see more!!

  4. Oh these look great!!! I love grilled foods -- the flavors are just so amazing!

  5. I went out in the garden yesterday and things were looking pretty sad! We will be making a few farewell dishes this week as well--bookmarking this!

  6. While I am a griller of meat, I think I've grilled out at least 5 nights out of the week this summer!

    Although, I have been known to crank up the gas grill in December with snow on the ground. :D

    Looks delicious!

  7. It's funny you mentioned using goat cheese, because I made a quesadilla for lunch today that had goat cheese on it, and I had no idea it melted so well.

    I love how your quesadilla garnishes look.