Easter Veggie Explosion

April 15, 2014


Although we aren’t a traditionally religious family, we celebrate the heck out of Easter.

It’s about the arrival of spring to us, and after a long winter, spring deserves Big Stink of a party, don’t you think?

There’s just  one leeeetle problem, though.

At least half the time (it seems) it snows on Easter. Or there’s snow on the ground.

Snow=Egg Hunt Buzzkill.

As the Minxes see it, indoor egg hunt=castrated egg hunt.

The last few years, they’ve had to settle for the castrated version, and it’s made them a little cranky, particularly Miss M., who loves egg hunts so much that she begs me to keep hiding eggs for weeks after Easter Sunday.

I usually oblige, because Eggapalooza is kind of cute, although like most adorable things, it gets a bit annoying. The way I figure it, though, is that endless egg hunts aren’t nearly as irksome as two games of CandyLand, so it’s a winning proposition.

When I sat down to plan my Easter menu, I began missing Greece and the wonderful sights, sounds, smells and tastes of that drop-dead gorgeous country.


It’s been four long years since I stuck my toes in the waters of the Mediterranean, but if I close my eyes and quiet myself, I can almost feel those warm turquoise waters lapping at my heels.

I think we need some Greece this year.*

This “salad” takes a little time, but it’s worth the trouble. Nothing makes vegetables sing like a sizzle on the grill, some fresh herbs, a sprinkle of creamy feta, and a bath in good olive oil.

It’s absolutely stunning and will have you craving ouzo and old ruins and Rembetika music in no time.

I’m hoping for warm weather this year. Winter has totally overstayed her welcome, don’t you think?  I want to give her a big old kick in the ass. And while I still yearn for Grecian shores, if pressed, I’d have to say that my heart is exactly where it wants to be this weekend. At home.

Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Salad
serves 6-8

2 small, firm eggplants
2 zucchini
1 large red onion
1 bunch cherry tomatoes
2 red bell peppers, roasted and seeded
olive oil
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup basil, chopped
good balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Heat grill to medium-high. Slice eggplants and zucchini into 1/4-inch slices. Sprinkle eggplant and zucchini slices with a healthy handful of salt; place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes.

While eggplant and zucchini drain, coat bell peppers in olive oil. Grill, turning on all sides, until skin is blackened and charred. Remove peppers from grill and place in a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.

While peppers sit, cut onion into wedges. Brush with olive oil and grill until slightly softened and charred. Remove from grill.

In a grill basket, place tomatoes (drizzled with olive oil) on the grill and grill until slightly blistered. Remove from grill.

Rinse eggplant and zucchini slices and pat dry. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill until slightly charred and softened, turning once. Remove from grill.

Remove skin and seeds from red bell peppers and cut into strips.

Layer all vegetables on a big platter, drizzle with good olive oil, good balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle feta and basil over the top.

Serve with crusty bread to lap up all of the veggie/olive oil goodness.


* Greece was the trip of a lifetime. We’ve been saving our pennies for four LONG years, intending to go back, but we had a change of heart and will be plundering the Italian coast and countryside in a little over a month. I’ve never been to Italy, and I’m so excited! Come along with me, will you? It’s going to be magical.


ps: stay tuned for all things Erma! I just need to catch my breath, and then I’ll blabblabblab.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Justine April 15, 2014 at 8:10 am

Italy! Wow! I’ve never been, but Greece is so beautiful; it’s been eight long years since I was there myself. We were planning a trip to France this year and then we got kicked out of our apartment. Well, the rest you know, but that also means no big travel plans for us. So yes, I’m absolutely going to live vicariously through you for some Italian food and sunshine. It’s going to be amazing!


Abby April 15, 2014 at 8:21 am

Italy? Holy cow! I’ve never been out of the country (Canada doesn’t count) but I can imagine the views and the food alone are worth a lifetime full of memories. I also woke up to two inches of snow this morning. It was 63 on Sunday and will be 50 degrees tomorrow. Mother Nature is fired…or menopausal.


Dana Talusani April 15, 2014 at 11:15 am


That snow you have is from us–I came home to 2 inches of the white death. xoxo


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri April 15, 2014 at 9:49 am


You will love Italy. I still have fond memories of my trip many years ago.

Cheers to beautiful views, gelato, and the best pizza in the world! Cannot wait to hear your stories from Italy.


Velva April 15, 2014 at 9:56 am

The salad is delightful…..Greece would be amazing. Italy will prove just as amazing too. Have a fabulous time.

Happy Easter!


elizabeth April 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Italy is wonderful–I can’t wait to hear where you’re going specifically. I think we’re going to try to go back there next year if possible. Regardless of where you go, you’ll have a wonderful time.


ayala April 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm

This salad sounds delicious! You will love Italy , it is so beautiful. Wonderful art, food and life !


Tiffany April 15, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Both of those places on my bucket list for sure… So envious that you get to go to both!! I hope you have a wonderful time in Italy… Wait to hear all about it!


D. A. Wolf April 15, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers… omg… how could this recipe not be delicious? (This is my preferred way to eat… with a side of dark chocolate, naturally.)

Italy! So excited for you! For all the times I’ve been to / lived in France, I never made it to Italy. I hope you eat EVERYTHING and take tons of pictures so we can taste vicariously. (Mostly, relax and enjoy it.)



Alison April 16, 2014 at 5:13 am

Yum, that sounds like a delicious salad.
And OMG, ITALY! It’s on my to-visit list. One day. One day.


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