Once again we turned to Melissa Clark in NYTimes Cooking to find a simple and tasty way to prepare and serve veggies. We used carrots, eggplant, zucchini and red bell pepper for this version, but feel free to add things like asparagus, onions, cherry tomatoes, corn etc. In addition, because of a rain storm, we didn’t fire up the backyard grill, but that’s an even better way to prepare this dish. Instead, we used the broiler on the oven – just remember to monitor it well. The sauce can be prepared ahead of time and put into the fridge for up to a week if that’s helpful.
For this you’ll need: (For the sauce) 1/4 cup dried cranberries (you can also use raisons), 2/3 cup white wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp honey (plus another 1 Tbsp to further sweeten if needed), 1 tsp fish sauce, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (kick this up a bit if you want a little more “kick”), salt. (For the veggies): 1 bell pepper (halved and seeded), 2 zucchini (cut in half lengthwise), 1 eggplant (cut into 1/2″ thick sections), 4-5 carrots (halved), olive oil, 2 small burrata balls.
First, make the sauce. In a small pot, combine the cranberries (or raisons), vinegar, honey, fish sauce, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to reduce slightly – about 3-5 mins – and thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Taste and then adjust the flavoring, as needed, by adding more honey, vinegar or red pepper. Generally, a touch more honey at this point will do the trick. You can now either place the sauce in a covered jar and refrigerate for up to a week or set it aside as you prepare the veggies.
Cover the cut vegetables with olive oil by drizzling and then using your fingers to cover them completely. You can add some salt and pepper here if you like. If you are using a grill, place the veggies directly over the flame on the rack and cook until browned and just softened, turning once to ensure both sides are well grilled and browned. If you are using a broiler, place the veggies on a baking tray (you will have to do this in batches as different vegetables will take longer than others, you can place earlier broiled batches onto a lower rack in oven while broiling the others in order to keep them warm) and place directly under the broiler until just browned, then turn and brown the other side.
Once brown, cut veggies into smaller strips and bites sized pieces and place on a serving tray with the burrata balls in the middle. Pour the sauce over the top of everything, drizzle a little olive oil over all and serve right away. The cheese, sauce and veggies make for a different tasting bite with each forkful.