Five Vegetables Perfect for Grilling
For some reason, meals just seem to come together a little more easily during the summer. An array of fresh ingredients are in ample supply, whether it’s from your grocery store’s produce section or your local farmers market. Salads can be made in a snap. Bowls of fruit with a sprinkle of sugar become a simple dessert. Meals served al fresco feel festive, even if it’s just a weeknight. This season is also a great time to brush up on your outdoor cooking skills. This means grilling, whether you’re lighting a gas grill, cooking over a pile of charcoal or using a camp stove. Let’s look at five vegetables that are perfect for grilling and serving at your next dinner.
Some people shy away from grilling vegetables, even if they are comfortable cooking chicken, steaks and hot dogs over an open flame. They might be worried they’ll cook them wrong or burn them. Never fear. Grilling vegetables is a lot easier than it might seem, and how you do it depends completely on your personal taste. Some people go for the char, blackening the outside of the vegetable’s skin. Others prefer a quick sear, then moving the vegetables off the high heat and cooking them in a cooler spot until they are fork-tender.
A healthy twist. Getting comfortable with grilling vegetables is a great way to add versatility to your diet. We all know that fresh vegetables are a big part of eating healthy, and tossing them on the grill has some real advantages. Grilled vegetables tend not to be dripping with butter or high-fat sauces. Usually a brush of olive oil and a sprinkle of your favorite seasoning or fresh herbs adds all the flavor you need. Here are some summertime vegetables that hold up well on the grill:
- Corn: Grilled corn is a late-summer treat. Once the ears are shucked and the silky strings peeled away, they are ready for the grill. You’ll want to keep an eye on them, turning them frequently so they’re cooked evenly all the way around.
- Eggplant: If this vegetable does not normally land on your plate, now is the time. Sliced medium-thick and brushed with a bit of oil, eggplant grills up beautifully and tastes sweeter after it has been kissed by some high heat.
- Onions: Whether you slice thick rings of sweet Vidalias or hearty chunks of red onions, these varieties take on a whole new level of taste when they are grilled. If the only times these hit your grill are when they are threaded on kabobs, you’re missing out. Let them grill slowly to develop their best flavors, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Zucchini and yellow summer squash: These thin-skinned twins are the poster kids of summer bounty, handed off to unsuspecting friends and neighbors at every turn when the mid-day heat delivers them by the bushel. What to do? Slice them lengthwise and grill them. Dab them with some flavored or garlic-infused olive oil for a little kick. Have some left over? Tuck them in the refrigerator and add them into an omelette the next day. Scrumptious.
- Portobello: These huge mushrooms are made for the grill. Whether you’re using them for a meatless meal or just serving them alongside other proteins, their thick texture makes them a good choice for a dash of high heat. You’ll want to keep an eye on them because of their high moisture content. Once grilled, they’re a great base for melted cheese and fresh herbs.
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- Uh Oh, You Might Be Cooking Your Veggies All Wrong
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