Grilled Vegetable Appetizer
|Slender baguettes||16 Ounce, cut diagonally into slices about 1 inch thick (2 Long Ones, Each About 8 Ounces / 230 Grams, About 25 Inches)|
|Eggplants||12 Ounce (4 Medium Size Slender Plants, Such As Asian Or Italian, 540 Grams Total)|
|Sweet potatoes/Yams||5 Medium, scrubbed (5 Medium Size Slender Plants, Such As Asian Or Italian, 565 Grams Total)|
|Olive oil||45 Milliliter (5 Tablespoons)|
|Red bell peppers||1 1⁄4 Pound, seeded (2 Large Ones, 565 Grams Total)|
|Garlic heads||12 Ounce (340 Grams, Unpeeled Cleave Heads Whole)|
|Chopped fresh rosemary/1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled||1 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Chopped fresh sage/1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage||1 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Fresh sage leaves||4|
1. Arrange bread slices in a single layer (overlapping as little as possible) in shallow 10- by 15-inch (25- by 38-cm) baking pans. Bake in a 325°F (165°C) oven until crisp and tinged with brown (15 to 20 minutes). Transfer toast to a rack to cool.
2. While bread is toasting, ignite 70 charcoal briquets in a large barbecue with dampers open. Spread coals out in a solid layer and let burn until medium-low to low; if fire is too hot, vegetables will scorch.
3. Cut ends from eggplants and sweet potatoes; cut unpeeled onion into quarters. Brush cut surfaces of onion with a little of the oil. Place eggplants, sweet potatoes, onion, bell peppers, and garlic on a greased grill 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) above coals. Cover barbecue. Cook until vegetables are very tender when pressed, watching carefully to prevent scorching; allow about 40 minutes for eggplant and peppers, 50 to 60 minutes for onion and garlic, and 1 hour for sweet potatoes. During the first 30 minutes of grilling, turn vegetables every 5 minutes; after 30 minutes, add 10 more briquets to the fire and turn vegetables every 10 minutes. Remove vegetables from grill as they are cooked.
4. Remove peel from sweet potatoes, onion, and bell peppers. Cut heads of garlic in half horizontally. Coarsely chop eggplants, peppers, and sweet potatoes. Squeeze half the garlic cloves from skins and finely chop.
5. On a platter, arrange chopped eggplants, peppers, and sweet potatoes; onion quarters; and whole garlic cloves. Place chopped garlic in center of platter.
6. Drizzle vegetables with remaining oil; sprinkle with chopped rosemary and sage. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and sage leaves. Place toast in a basket. (At this point, you may cover lightly and let stand for up to 2 hours.)