Grilled vegetables on a kebab Grilled vegetables on a kebab Israeli Kitchen Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Grilled vegetable kebabs

This smoky treat will be a colorful highlight at your next barbecue.

  • Yield: Serves 6-8
  • Prep time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

Boy, do we love anything grilled. That smoky, slightly charred flavor just wakes up our appetite. And how smart we are not to confine our grilling to meat – even peaches taste special cooked over an open flame.

I brought marinated vegetable kebabs to a recent family party. While the rest of us sat at the rooftop table drinking wine and sangria, my son-in-law’s brother-in-law – well, extended family tends to grow close here – anyway, one of the young men stood and kindly grilled.

He turned out grilled chicken filets and wings and livers (and hearts, those dark, crunchy little nuggets). Grilled, thinly sliced beef fillets. Spicy little hamburgers. And there was a big potato salad colorful with chopped red onions, cilantro and celery and tart with a lemony mayonnaise. The meal included: Dishes of hummus and Turkish salad, a bowl of Israeli chopped tomato/cucumber salad, and french fries. A feast – but the surprise was the grilled vegetable kebabs. Everyone loved them.

My daughter’s mother-in-law asked me for the recipe. She herself is an excellent traditional cook, owning no other kitchen appliance than a handheld grater and making every single thing fresh. I was honored.


  • Choose from any mix of eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, bell peppers of any color, white or red onions, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped za’atar or oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 tablespoon dried


Cut tomatoes in quarters or use cherry tomatoes. Chop peppers and onions into chunks convenient for skewering. If using button mushrooms, there’s no need to cut them; if using larger ones, slice into halves.

If using eggplant and/or zucchini, slice them thickly, place them in a colander, and cover with a light layer of salt. Set the colander over a bowl to catch the juices, and let the vegetables drain for half an hour. Rinse them and either put them back into the (rinsed) colander to dry or pat them dry.

If using sweet potatoes, slice them thickly and drop into boiling water. Cook for 5 minutes, covered. Remove from the water and drain.

There should be about 8 cups of vegetables, not tightly packed, when you’re done chopping. Combine all the vegetables and pour the marinade over them. Cover and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Have plenty of wooden skewers at hand. Soak them in cold water for half an hour before spearing them into the food – this will help prevent them from burning while the vegetables cook.

Arrange the vegetables on the soaked skewers and grill 5-10 minutes on each side, until all are tender. Have fun sliding the fragrant grilled chunks off the skewers and onto your plate.

Related Topics: Vegetarian

Recipes from the Israeli KitchenRecipes from the Israeli Kitchen