A Parrillada de Verduras is nothing more than grilled vegetables, a little olive oil and some salt served on a large platter with some bread on the side and maybe a beer or glass of wine to drink. It’s usually intended to be shared, but I’ve eaten more than one all by myself, especially after a long day on the Camino. If you get a chance to eat in a restaurant with a parrilla (grill) take advantage of it and enjoy a variety of meats, seafood and vegetables cooked over an open flame.
To make your own parrillada you’ll want an assortment of vegetables. I used zucchini, eggplant, onions, and peppers. Slice them about a half inch thick (a mandoline comes in handy for this) and toss them in some olive oil before loading them on the grill, avoiding the direct heat if possible. At home we use a grill pan, starting with the peppers and onions and ending with the zucchini and eggplant. Other possibilities include tomatoes, cut in half or slices, and mushrooms. The platter of grilled vegetables I nearly inhaled in León also included pieces of fat carrot sliced on the diagonal (why not?).
The cooked veggies are transferred to a platter and arranged in an attractive manner. Before serving they’ll get a final drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a scattering of sea salt. If you’re in the mood squeeze some lemon juice on top or break out the balsamic vinegar for a little acidic note.
Barbeque enthusiasts understand the appeal of sitting outdoors with a cold glass of beer and a platter of delicious food. In fact, it’s hard to think of anyone who doesn’t love it. So, let me encourage you…go out and buy some veggies and throw them on the grill or in a grill pan. Cook them at high heat until char marks form and the veggies become tender. Serve them alone or alongside your favorite grilled meats. You won’t be sorry.
And if you’re ever on the Camino and you find a restaurant with parrillada de verduras on the menu, order with confidence. You’ll love them.