Vegetable stack

  • 4 Servings
  • 40mPrep Time
  • 20mCook Time
  • 60mReady In
  • Category : Food
  • Subcategory : Salads and vegetables
  • Main Ingredient : Vegetables
  • Chef : Paul Katz

An intensely flavored Italian sauce or paste, pesto is typically made with fresh summer herbs, a goodly amount of garlic, grated hard cheese, olive oil or butter and nuts.


Balsamic reduction:

  • 4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar


  • 2 ounces pine nuts
  • 2-1/2 ounces fresh basil leaves
  • 2-1/2 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Vegetable stacks:

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 8 carrots
  • 12 asparagus spears
  • 4 ounces blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 plus 1 tablespoon cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 4 sage sprigs
  • Salt to taste



Preheat the grill.

Make the balsamic reduction: In a medium saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until volume is reduced by two thirds. Let cool, empty contents into a bowl or squeeze bottle and reserve for later use.

Prepare the pesto: Place the pine nuts on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven. Roast the nuts for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown, checking frequently. Let cool.

In a food processor or blender, blend all pesto ingredients on high speed. Place the pesto into a large bowl.

Cook the vegetables: In a 450-degree oven, roast the red bell peppers until the outer skin is blistered and black. Place the roasted pepper into a metal bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.

Afterward, remove the skin from the peppers, cut in half, de-seed and lightly rinse under cold water to clean. Place the halves into the pesto to marinate.

Next, clean out the gills of each mushroom cap and place into the pesto marinade.

Slice the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and carrots about 1/4-inch thick lengthwise and place into the marinade. Brush the asparagus spears with olive oil and season with the salt.

Remove all the vegetables from the marinade and grill 1 to 2 minutes on each side (2 to 4 minutes for the portobellos). Let all the vegetables cool.

Assemble: Stack the vegetables on the center of each serving plate in the following order (bottom to top): Portobello mushroom cap, 2 zucchini slices, 2 carrot slices, 1 eggplant slice, 3 asparagus spears, 1/2 roasted red pepper and 2 yellow squash slices.

Drizzle each plate with balsamic reduction and extra virgin olive oil. Top with the crumbled cheese. Garnish with the sage and thyme sprigs.