Grilled Vegetables with Tomato Basil Sauce, Feta and Herbs
Another week, another grilling recipe! Thank you for supporting my summer mission.
Not gonna lie, there was some initial tension surrounding my love affair with the grill. Logan has long prided himself on his grilling skills (they are indeed quite excellent), and sharing grilling duties took a teensy bit of getting used to. Luckily, we discovered pretty quickly that we have different grilling interests/strong suits, so we’re now leaning into those…
Logan is shirtless king of the danks meats, and I am queen of seafood and vegetables. Divide and conquer! It’s working for us.
Not to toot my own horn, but I’m crushing the grilled vegetable sides these days, and these Grilled Vegetables with Tomato Basil Sauce, Feta and Herbs have become a go-to.
Brushed with garlicky olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and grilled until just tender, the vegetables shine on their own—simply grilled fresh produce is a beautiful thing—but a special kind of summer magic happens when you serve them over warm Rao’s Homemade® Tomato Basil sauce. Shower them with salty feta and fresh basil and parsley (herb power couple), and you’ve got a seriously show-stopping side on your hands.
A quick word on my beloved Rao’s Homemade® Tomato Basil Sauce. It’s perfect. Made in small batches with simple ingredients that you can find in your pantry/grocery store, like Italian whole peeled tomatoes, fresh garlic, and basil, this sauce truly can’t be beat on the flavor and consistency fronts. I warm it in a saucepan directly on the grill for this recipe, which infuses the sauce with a subtle smokiness. This is optional but highly recommended.
These grilled vegetables will serve about 8 as a side and pair beautifully with any grilled meat or fish, but I also love to serve them as a vegetarian meal. If you go that route, I highly recommend serving some grilled bread alongside your saucy vegetables. (I like to cut thick slices of a crusty loaf and brush them with a little olive oil before grilling them for a couple minutes on each side. Then rub the grilled slices with the cut side of a garlic clove and sprinkle them with some flaky salt. Trust me on this.) Should you want to add some extra plant-based protein into the mix, stir some chickpeas or white beans into the Tomato Basil sauce before plating.
Cooking for one or two? The recipe is easily halved, but I urge you to consider making the full recipe for the sake of delicious leftovers that can be eaten cool, room temperature, or warm and repurposed in endless exciting ways. A few of my favorite ways to put any remaining grilled vegetables with tomato-basil sauce to work:
- Sandwich vegetables and a little sauce between bread or tortillas with some mozzarella or Fontina cheese (maybe get some sausage or prosciutto involved) to make an epic Panini, grilled cheese or quesadilla. Serve with extra sauce for dipping.
- Chop the vegetables, mix them with remaining sauce, and toss with pasta or your favorite whole grain.
- Add them to a frittata or omelet! Or top them with a fried egg and some fresh herbs.
- Warm chopped veggies and leftover sauce with a few cups of vegetable broth and some pasta or rice to make a quick minestrone-inspired soup.
- Use them as a topping for pizza! Bonus points if said pizza is grilled.
- Stuff them (hot or cold!) into a pita with some arugula and extra feta. Maybe get a squeeze of lemon or a splash of balsamic involved.
- Turn them into a quinoa bake! Chop the vegetables and combine them with any leftover sauce and 2-3 cups of cooked quinoa (dependent on how many leftover vegetables you have), and ½ cup of grated Fontina, Mozzarella, or Italian cheese blend. Transfer this filling to a baking dish or ovenproof skillet, top with more cheese and some toasted breadcrumbs, and bake at 375°F for 25 minutes. So good.
Needless to say, you should feel free to play with vegetables, cheese and herbs based on what you have on hand. For the record, I’m particularly fond of goat cheese or burrata as a substitute for feta here…
Happy grilling, friends!
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves grated or finely minced (feel free to use more garlic if you like)
- 2 medium zucchini sliced lengthwise into ½-inch planks
- 2 medium yellow squash sliced lengthwise into ½-inch planks
- 2 red bell peppers seeded and quartered
- 1 bunch asparagus woody stems removed
- 1 large red onion sliced into ½-inch rounds
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- One 24-ounce jar Rao’s Homemade® Tomato Basil Sauce
- 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves finely chopped
- Pre-heat a lightly oiled grill (or grill pan) over medium-high heat. (If you have a grill basket, you may want to use it for the asparagus and onion.)
- In a small bowl combine the olive oil and garlic.
- Pat the zucchini and squash dry with a cloth or paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Brush the vegetables all over with the olive oil mixture and season them with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Place the vegetables on the hot grill and let them cook until they’re tender (but not mushy!) and have developed grill marks. The vegetables will have slightly different cooking times: roughly 5 minutes for the asparagus (turn them every 1 to 2 minutes); 7 to 8 minutes for the zucchini and squash (3 to 4 minutes per side); and 8 to 10 minutes for the bell pepper and onion (4 to 5 minutes per side).
- Meanwhile warm the Tomato Basil Sauce in a medium saucepan until simmering. You can do this on a cooler section of the grill or on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
- Add the Tomato Basil sauce to the base of a large shallow serving bowl or platter. Arrange the grilled vegetables on top of the tomato sauce. Top with basil, parsley and crumbled feta. Serve warm
This post is sponsored by my longtime friends at Rao’s Homemade. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Domesticate Me alive and kicking.
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