Grilling Vegetables: the Basics

Ahh….the summer grilling season is upon us! Grilled vegetables (zucchini, asparagus, onion, peppers, mushrooms, corn, potatoes, etc.) are a quick and easy side dish.

Here are the easy steps to follow to ensure perfect veggies on the grill:

1. Prep the veggies. Wash and dry them. Some can be grilled whole (corn, mushrooms, and asparagus). Eggplant, onions, zucchini, onions, and peppers cook best when cut into pieces.

2. Oil the veggies: Drizzle on some olive oil to coat them so they do not stick to the grill. This is necessary since veggies have no fat.

Marinade adds great flavor

Add a marinade for great flavor. You can make this simply by whisking together

¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup minced fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme or rosemary)
Add 2 garlic cloves finely minced if desired)

Pour the marinade over the veggies and allow it to sit for at least an hour.

Before grilling, shake off any extra marinade to prevent flare ups on the grill.

3. Preheat the grill. For gas grills, pre-heat on medium heat for 10 minutes. If using charcoal, fire it up until there is a good coat of ash. Clean off the grates with a wire brush and wipe the grates with oil to prevent the veggies from sticking.

4. Grill the veggies. If they are large and whole, cook directly on the grill. If they are smaller, use a grill basket so they do not fall into the file. Flip the basket a few times to ensure even cooking.

Start with the ones that take the longest to cook (onions and eggplant). Mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, and peppers generally cook faster. Cooking times will vary based on the size of the veggies and how firm you want them.

Special instructions for potatoes, carrots, beets, and corn

For potatoes, carrots, and beets require an extra step to prevent charring.

There are 2 options:

Boil them in water, then brush with oil and grill

Cut them in pieces and add oil and seasonings. Wrap in foil to grill.

For corn, here are 3 options to consider.

  1. Husk it and brush with oil. Cook directly on the grill for 8-10 minutes, turning often.
  2. Husk and place on foil, coating with oil before wrapping up the foil.
  3. Soak the husks in water for 30 minutes. Drain and cook on the grill for 30 minutes. This allows the corn to cook from the inside out.

Here’s to great summer grilling!

Looking for great vegetarian grilling recipes? Check out this great cook book with 250 recipes.

The New Vegetarian Grill, Revised Edition: 250 Flame-Kissed Recipes for Fresh, Inspired Meals



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