Vegetable Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Satay, an Indonesian skewered street food,can be made from strips of meat, chunks of fish, or in this case, an array of vegetables. In this satay, each skewer is a colorful combination of mushroom, zucchini, bell pepper and eggplant. We use slim Asian eggplants because they're firm and practically seedless, and they never develop bitterness the way large, dark-skinned eggplants do.

SAUCE

1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano chile, seeded, deveined, finely chopped
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

VEGETABLES

8 large button mushroom, halved
8 mini sweet peppers, assorted colors, halved lengthwise
2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Asian eggplant, halved lengthwise, cut into 1-inch pieces*
1/4 cup dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Whisk coconut milk and peanut butter in medium saucepan until smooth. Whisk in soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and serrano chile; bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in all remaining sauce ingredients. (Sauce can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate; reheat in microwave 30 to 60 seconds or until warm.)

2. Heat grill. Toss vegetable ingredients in large bowl to coat. Thread vegetables alternately onto 8 (10- to 12-inch) metal skewers.

3. Oil grill grates. Grill vegetables, covered, over medium heat or coals 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, turning once. Serve with sauce.

4 servings

PER SERVING: 575 calories, 48.5 g total fat (21.5 g saturated fat), 14 g protein, 31.5 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 840 mg sodium, 10 g fiber

TIP *Asian eggplants are slender and come in a range of colors from light purple to pink and white. They are delicately flavored, have thinner skin and fewer seeds than the common deep purple eggplant.


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