Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.

TIP Grilling intensifies the flavor of many vegetables, often highlighting the natural sugars. In general, you want to grill only until there are grill marks on the underside -- not actually char the surface.


3 medium zucchini, about 1 1/2 pounds

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

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1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Coat the grill rack with cooking spray; heat the grill for direct-heat cooking.

2. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Brush both sides of the slices with the olive oil; sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper.

3. Grill 4 to 5 minutes, until well marked on the undersides; turn and grill until just tender, about 4 minutes longer.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving 61 calories, 1 gram protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 202 mg sodium



2 large fennel bulbs

2 tablespoons olive oil

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1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Heat for direct-heat grilling.

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2. Cut the fennel into 1/2-inch- thick wedges; toss with olive oil, basil, salt and pepper.

3. Place fennel wedges on grill and cook until well marked on undersides, about 4 minutes. Turn, sprinkle with Parmesan, and cook until cheese is melted and fennel is fork-tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving 110 calories, 2 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 390 mg sodium



1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 large sweet white onions

1. Combine the balsamic, oil, salt and pepper in a 13-by-9- inch baking dish.

2. Slice the onions across into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices in the baking dish so the largest ring is on the bottom of each slice. (This keeps the slices from separating.) Spoon the marinade over the onions, cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours. During this time, occasionally baste the onions with the marinade.

3. Coat the grill rack with cooking spray: heat the grill for direct-heat grilling. Place the onion slices on the grill, again with the largest ring from each slice on the bottom to keep the slices from separating into rings. Grill 5 to 6 minutes, or until well marked and nearly translucent on the bottom half. Using a large, flat spatula, carefully turn the onions over and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer, or until translucent and tender.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving 131 calories, 1 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 304 mg sodium