Grilled Caribbean Vegetarian Kebabs

Kebab is a dish of small pieces of meat, fish, vegetables or fruits threaded onto skewers and roasted, broiled or grilled. The word kebab was originally Arabic or Persian and literally means roasted meat. According to history, the dish was invented by medieval soldiers, who pierced meat using their swords and grilled over an open flame. The traditional meat for kebab is lamb or mutton. This recipe uses instead a variety of vegetables and is made tasty by a Caribbean inspired oil-based marinade. The skewers are grilled until the veggies get those perfectly charred grill marks.

Ingredients:

This recipe takes about 10 minutes to make. The bamboo skewers, however, need to soak in water for 30 minutes to an hour before use. The vegetables should sit in the marinade for at least an hour. Grilling takes about 10 minutes. Serves 4.

Marinade:

• 1/3 cup of olive oil
• juice of half a lemon
• half a scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
• 1 tbsp of fresh thyme, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp of shado beni, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp of fresh parsley, finely chopped
• 1/2 tsp of salt
• 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper

• 8 pcs bamboo skewers, soaked in water
• 8 white button mushrooms, brushed and stems, partly trimmed
• 1 sweet corn, cut into ½ inch thick rounds
• 1 large red onion, cut into chunks
• 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
• 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
• 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
• 1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares

Instructions:

Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl.
Place the vegetables in a baking dish or tray and pour the marinade.
With a spoon, toss the vegetables to make sure that each piece gets coated with the marinade.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour.
Put a piece of each vegetable onto the bamboo skewer.
Grill over medium heat, turning every 2 to 3 minutes. Baste the vegetables with any left-over marinade.

Ideas And Tips:

Shado Beni (aka. “Culantro”) is a tropical perennial herb that is native to Mexico and South America. It a has a very intense and potent flavor. Cilantro / Coriander is similar but has a milder flavor, so you may use any of these two if shado beni is not available. Just make sure you double the amount to get that same flavor in the marinade.

• Soaking the bamboo skewers in water will prevent them from burning while grilling. You may soak the skewers while the veggies are marinating in the fridge.

• Choose whatever vegetable combination you want. You may also use zucchini, eggplant, tomato or potato. The key is to cut them into the same sizes so that the vegetables cook evenly.

• Grilling intensifies the flavors of the vegetables. As excess moisture is drawn out from the high heat, the sugars become more concentrated making the veggies sweeter. Basting the kebab with the marinade while grilling not only prevents the veggies from drying out but also helps achieve that rich smoky flavor.

• No time or patience for chopping? You may quickly pulse the ingredients for the marinade in a blender or food processor.

Grilled Caribbean Vegetarian Kebabs
images – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JI2maDYZ10

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