For most of us, when we think of summer grilling, we think of grilled t-bones, grilled chicken, or grilled fish….but what about the veggies? Vegetables are fabulous when cooked over the grill. Grilled vegetables are great for salads, sauces and side dishes. And even better yet, they are low in fat and incredibly easy to prepare. Typically all that is needed is a little olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. So simple and so good!
There are many gadgets available to help you grill vegetables without the possibility of the veggies falling through the grill rack – and these do work rather nicely. However, I often find that it’s just one more thing to store in the kitchen or underneath my barbecue – and I usually forget it’s there! My solution is to cut the vegetables big enough so that they can’t easily fall through the grill rack….this way it’s just one less thing to think about (and one less thing to wash!). If you still are worried about losing your veggies to the coals, another simple solution is to thread the vegetables on skewers then grill them. Again a very simple solution and often a very pretty presentation.
Below you will find a general guide to grilling some of our favorite summer vegetables on a gas or charcoal grill:
Zucchini & Summer Squash:
To prepare: Trim off both ends and make lengthwise slices, about ¼ inch thick. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper before grilling. Light the coals or prepare a gas grill. Place the zucchini strips on the grill at a 45 degree angle to the grates. Cover the lid and grill for about 3-4 minutes per side or until well browned and tender. Check with tongs occasionally to make sure that the pieces brown evenly. When done, remove them from the grill and serve immediately.
Zucchini also work great threaded onto skewers. To do this method, toss with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Thread onto skewers and grill, rotating the skewer frequently to ensure they cook evenly.
There are a couple of different ways to grill corn – each year I’m constantly trying new methods to find one that I like best. The truth is they all work, it’s just that each method seems to add something slightly different, whether it be convenience or more or less grill flavor.
Method #1 – Wrapped in Foil: Shuck the corn, removing all silk and husks. Lay each ear of corn on a 12-inch square of aluminum foil. Rub each ear of corn with 1 teaspoon butter and season all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tuck a sprig of your favorite herb next to the corn and wrap the foil around the ear. Heat a gas grill or charcoal grill to high. Add the foil-wrapped corn on the grate, cover and cook, turning every 5-6 minutes, for a total of about 15 minutes. Remove from the grill and check the corn for doneness.
Method #2 – Wrapped in Husks: Pull the husks back from the corn, being careful not to pull them off. Remove the silks. Brush the corn with melted butter and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper or a spice mixture of choice. Recover the corn with the husks. Grill on the rack for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally until done.
To prepare: Trim off the ends, peel and cut into ½ inch thick slices. Thread the slices onto skewers. Brush liberally with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. Place the onion skewers on the grates. Cover and grill until the slices are browned on both sides, about 15 minutes total. Remove the onions from the grill and wrap in foil to finish softening.
Bell peppers on the grill are really roasted peppers. To prepare, simply wash the peppers and leave them whole. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill and place peppers directly over the flame. Cover the lid and grill until the skins are blackened on all sides, turning as needed with tongs, about 3-4 minutes per side for a total of about 10-15 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let steam for about 10-15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove the blackened skins, stem and seeds. Reserve the flesh and juices.
To prepare: Trim off the tough ends. Brush liberally with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill and place the spears on the grill at an angle. Grill, rolling over once until lightly browned and shriveled, about 2 minutes total.
Here are some great grilled vegetable recipes to get you started:
Grilled Vegetables with Feta Sauce
Grilled Vegetables with Garlic –Olive Tapanade
Grilled Asparagus and Scallions
Grilled Asparagus Bruschetta
Grilled Zucchini Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Cajun Grilled Corn
Chili Grilled Corn
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chive Butter
Grilled Corn with Brown Sugar Butter
Grilled Corn with Herb Butter
- Chef Jessica