The first Fall freeze is right around the corner and I’m desperately trying to use up the rest of my garden vegetables before they go bad. Of course I will can and freeze what I can but there are some things that just need to be used fresh like zucchini and eggplant. Once you freeze them it’s just not the same. This is the first year I ventured to grill my eggplant and I’m not sure what I was thinking because grilled eggplant is delicious. I put together a great pasta dish with tortellini, grilled eggplant, grilled zucchini, grilled summer squash and grilled chicken breast and topped it with diced tomatoes and spinach and a little parmesan cheese. It was delicious and had a ton of flavor with very little seasoning. Here’s what you need:
1 summer squash
4 premium chicken breast filets thawed
1 bag six cheese tortellini prepared according to package directions
2 c diced tomatoes
2 cups spinach
4 T Italian dressing
Start by cutting the zucchini, eggplant and summer squash into thick coins. My produce is getting fairly large so it’s easy to manage on the grill in coins but if yours is normal size you can cut it into strips lengthwise so you don’t have to worry about losing it between the grill grates. Lay all the produce out flat and drizzle, brush or spray with olive oil. I have one of those great reusable oil spray cans that works great for getting an even application of oil without drowning the vegetables. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. I apologize for not measuring the amount of seasoning I used but it will depend on how big your vegetables are too. Just make sure they are evenly coated, then flip them over and do the other side. Season each of your chicken breast with a tablespoon of Italian dressing and set aside. My grill isn’t big enough to do all the vegetables and chicken at once so grilled the veggies first and the chicken second. One thing I learned is eggplant is a bit more fragile than zucchini and summer squash so it cooks faster and burns easier so check it and flip it more often. I like to grill my vegetables over a high heat so they get great grill marks and grill flavor without getting too mushy. There are directions on the package for grilling the chicken, I recommend following those and I always use a meat thermometer to tell when the meat is done so it’s not overcooked but also so no one is going to get sick. Once all of your veggies and chicken are grilled cut them up into bite sized pieces and toss them in a big pot with the tortellini, tomatoes and spinach. For added flavor you can use extra Italian dressing and top with parmesan cheese. This serves a lot of people so you will probably have leftovers but they are great reheated as well. It pairs fantastic with cheese stuffed breadsticks or five cheese garlic French bread which can also be made on the grill.