2 medium zucchini, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
2 yellow squash, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
2 red bell peppers, quartered lengthwise
2 medium red onions, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 medium eggplant, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Light a charcoal grill or preheat the broiler. Brush the zucchini, squash, bell peppers, onions and eggplant with 1/2 cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables in batches, turning occasionally, until tender and browned, about 12 minutes for the zucchini, squash and peppers and 20 minutes for the eggplant and onions. Transfer the vegetables to a platter as they are cooked and let cool.
In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts until lightly browned, about 1 minute. In a food processor or blender, combine the basil with the garlic, lemon juice, water and pine nuts and pulse until finely chopped. With the machine on, slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and process until smooth. Add the Parmesan and pulse to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the pesto dressing over the grilled vegetables and serve.
The grilled vegetables and dressing can be prepared 6 hours in advance.
Tiny new potatoes (quartered if larger than 2″) do especially well, as would other root vegetables like baby carrots or even parsnips.
Adapt it for the seasons, depending on what’s in the market.
Even the leftovers are flexible; I’ve used them in salads, mixed with whole grains, and in pastas (just add some cooked pasta and a bit more pesto and you have a meal).