Grilled Vegetable Antipasti Sott’olio
By Chef Michael ChiarelloIn Italian, Sott’olio means “preserved in oil.” Chef Chiarello says he loves “the smoky summer taste it gives them,” when referring to preserving a variety of vegetables, right out of the garden, in olive oil.
6 large Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds total)5 tablespoons kosher salt6 medium peeled carrots (about 1 1/4 pounds total)2 large fennel bulbs3 small green zucchini1 large eggplant (about 3/4 pound)1 tablespoon coarse sea salt, preferably gray salt, plus more for sprinkling1 pound small button mushrooms or large cremini mushrooms (leave the button mushrooms whole but halve the cremini from dome to stem)3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzlingFreshly ground black pepper
Fill a large stockpot with about 5 quarts of cold water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Peel the potatoes while you’re waiting for the pot to boil.Add the kosher salt to the boiling water, then add the potatoes. Decrease the heat to keep the water at a good simmer but not a hard boil. Cook until the potatoes are about half done and still very firm, about 10 minutes. With tongs or a slotted spoon, take the potatoes out of the water (leave the water in the pot) and set them aside to cool.Add carrots to the hot water, adjusting the heat if necessary to keep the water at a strong simmer. Cook until the carrots are about half done, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer them to a plate to cool, leaving the water in the pot for the fennel.Halve the fennel lengthwise and then cut each half into six wedges. Add the fennel to the pot of simmering water and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the fennel, and allow it to cool. At this point you can drain the water in the pot.Cut each zucchini lengthwise into 3 long slabs. Set them aside.Trim the stem and bottom from the eggplant and slice into 1/4-inch rounds (approximately 10 slices). Rinse each slice in cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the one tablespoon sea salt over the eggplant rounds. Let the slices rest for 15 minutes, then rinse them in cool water and pat dry again with paper towels.Turn a gas grill to high or ignite charcoal. When the grill is hot, for both gas and charcoal grills, clean your grill rack. Decrease the temperature to medium-high (on a gas grill only), and brush or wipe a little olive oil on the grill rack.Cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch rounds and halve the carrots lengthwise.With a brush, give each vegetable a light coat of olive oil and then a sprinkling of salt and pepper. You’ll cook the vegetables separately and then either serve them immediately or refrigerate them.Grill the potatoes for about 10 minutes, the carrots for about 8 minutes, the zucchini for 7 minutes, the eggplant slices and mushrooms for 6 minutes, and the fennel for 5 minutes, turning with tongs about halfway through the grilling time.As each vegetable comes off the grill, transfer to a serving platter. Serve while warm or keep them covered with oil and refrigerated for up to 1 week. If you cover the vegetables with olive oil, save the olive oil and use it in the smoked oil dressing.