Have I mentioned how I do not like being in the kitchen in the summer? With the grill just outside on the patio, it just makes so much more sense to use it. A lot of Italian cooking is by feel, which is completely up my alley. As long as you know your seasoning ratios, it is a snap to create something wonderful in no time.
I love going to my local Farmer's Market with absolutely no meal plan in mind, and then create on based on the produce I find from my favorite farmers.
The easiest way to cook with the least amount of clean up is to make tin foil packages. All you need to do is chop up your veggies into roughly chopped pieces. You do not want to make them too small, because they may cook too fast and become mushy. I have always preferred my vegetables to be more on the al dente side. Place the chopped vegetables on good-sized piece of heavy duty tin foil. Here's the fun part. Go wild with your spices! Have a clove of garlic? Chop it up and throw it in there. As for oil or fat, a little goes a long way, as most vegetables have a decent water content in the first place. I would use no more than a tablespoon of oil or butter. I always zip the package up with a splash of either balsamic or white wine vinegar as well...perhaps a teaspoon or two. Add your salt and pepper to taste, but remember that a little goes a long way.
Seal up your package well, and throw it on your medium-preheated grill. After 10 or so minutes, you should hear it sizzling. It's ready! Carefully remove the package to platter, and carefully open the package. It should smell like heaven.
Now, if you want, you can throw a fillet or two of fish or chicken on top of the package before grilling...just be sure that the protein is on the thin side, so you are sure it is fully cooked. Have fun!
I'm off to make one of these awesome looking hats right now.