I wrote an article about easy, slimming recipes recently. My griddle pan played a prominent role. For me, it is one of the best instruments for producing dishes that tick all the necessary boxes: They are easy to do, fast to execute and taste delicious. So far, I have never presented any recipes from the griddle pan in my newsletter – time to remedy this omission.
Easy grilling with a griddle pan
A griddle pan mimics roasting on a charcoal grill without the fuss of setting up the BBQ-grill and lighting a fire. It has ridges that make contact with the food and leave the desired signs of roasting – a great flavour enhancer, although it might be a bit carcinogenic.
Acrylamide: Low levels in vegetables
The keyword here is acrylamide, a potentially carcinogenic substance. It is formed when food is cooked with high heat. Especially potato chips, French fries and brown toast contain a lot of acrylamide. However, I could not find anything about acrylamide levels in grilled aubergines and zucchinis although I discovered information about grilled carrots and onions. These levels are so low that I think our bodies can deal with this tiny bit of acrylamide – considering that eating zucchini and aubergines gives you plenty of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Any vegetable can hit the griddle pan
Basically, you can throw any kind of vegetable on the griddle pan. I prefer zucchini and aubergines. You can also prepare yellow or red peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus and even carrots the same way. Low-fat chicken breasts taste great when griddled.
The only rule to follow is:
You do not oil the pan; you oil the food.
Keeping this in mind, you cannot go wrong. Especially aubergines profit from this kind of preparation. This vegetable soaks up oil like a sponge during frying.
I salt and pepper the vegetables after roasting them and garnish with mint and parsley. If you like your food spicy, you might want to chop up some fresh chilli. Red ones deliver a lovely colour contrast. Lemon or lime juice adds a bit of zing.
Wishing you happy cooking, always!
Kornelia Santoro with family
Vegetables from the Griddle Pan
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
2 medium zucchini
4 small aubergines
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 limes or 1 lemon
Fresh mint and parsley (or any other kind of fresh herb)
It is important to slice the vegetables evenly so they cook at the same time. So far, I had always sliced zucchinis and aubergines lengthwise. For the newsletter I wanted to test if the cutting technique makes any difference. It does not affect the taste.
However, lengthwise slit zucchini slices deliver grill marks more evenly. On the other hand aubergines are preferably cut into rounds. The reason: Their skin is quite hard. Slicing them lengthwise results in two end pieces with a lot of skin.
After cutting your vegetables, place them into a bowl and coat them with olive oil. The easiest way to achieve this is rubbing the oil with your hands over the slices.
Having written this: Just do whatever floats your boat. Because zucchini are quite long, I chop them in the middle. That makes slicing them lengthwise easier.
Heat your griddle pan: You need high heat to achieve roast marks in a short time.
Place the vegetables in the griddle pan and let them sizzle for at least three minutes on one side without touching them. When you move the slices around, you will not attain clear grill marks.
After they have sufficiently roasted on one side, flip them over. The second side takes a bit less time to cook because the vegetable is already hot.
After roasting, place the vegetables on a plate. Salt and pepper them evenly, squeeze lime juice over them and garnish them with the fresh herbs and/or chilli pieces. Serve immediately.