Grilled Marinated Vegetables

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4 large portobello mushroom caps
6 medium zucchini, cut into lengthwise slices, 1/2-inch thick
6 medium yellow squash, cut into lengthwise slices, 1/2-inch thick
6 medium italian eggplants, cut into lengthwise slices, 1/2-inch thick
3 large vidalia onions
3 red bell peppers
3 yellow bell peppers
3 fennel bulbs, stalks reserved for soup and leaves reserved for garnish
12 asparagus spears, (peeled if fat), woody ends removed
3 red onions, cut into lengthwise slices, 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced fine or pressed
1/4 cup freshly snipped mixed herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, etc.)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
squirt of fresh lime juice

1. Prepare vinaigrette in large non-reactive bowl (glass, ceramic, or stainless steel) using last 7 ingredients.

2. Wash and dry all vegetables; do not peel. Remove the stems of the Portobellos and halve the caps. Prepare all other vegetables, dip into the vinaigrette and place all into a plastic zipper bag. Marinate for no more than 3 hours, turning the bag occasionally. Marinate the portobellos separately or their gills will turn everything dark brown.

3. Preheat grill to medium and place vegetables on grill, turning frequently to prevent burning, for 5-10 minutes, until just tender and nicely marked with grill lines.

4. Alternatively, if the weather is inclement, the vegetables may be roasted in the oven at 500° F. for 30 minutes, or cooked using an indoor ridged grill pan to retain the grilled look.

Serve vegetables beautifully presented on a large platter, in a lavish arrangement surrounded by lots of fresh herbs and accompanied by cruets of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Abundance is the key word here.

SERVES: 6 as a vegetarian main dish and 12 as a side dish

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