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Grilling Vegetables: take your BBQ to the next level!

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

We all know and love the joys of grilling. Whether it's simply hamburgers (learn how to grill burgers the right way here) or steaks, there are few people who don't love the grill. Over the years, however, I have found that most people just scratch the surface on what grilling can actually be. You can do more than hamburgers. Your steaks can be better. Ever thought about lamb or pork? And the final comment: what about grilling vegetables?

Grilling vegetables you say?

I got into grilling vegetables from a gift i received from one of those office Christmas parties. My boss gave me this square metal basket that said "vegetable griller". Of course i didn’t use it for a long time until one day while grilling i remembered that i had bought some egg plants and zucchini. While grilling vegetables like these can be done straight on the grill i wanted to use my basket. The results were phenomenal and I was hooked.

 

This article will teach you how to take advantage of your grill by grilling vegetables right alongside your meat.

 

Just about any vegetable can be cooked on a grill and i highly recommend that you learn some basics and then experiment in grilling vegetables of different kinds.

 

Let’s get started

 

Earlier in this article i mentioned a metal basket i have for grilling vegetables and i highly recommend that you buy one. The other things you need are aluminum foil and a basting brush.

 

Grilling Vegetables: Corn on the Cob

 

Corn is one of my favorites on the grill. Here’s how I grill corn.

 

What to buy

Buy corn that still has the husk in place. It is important to buy the freshest corn available as it will increase flavor. If you are in season take advantage. I freeze corn in the husks to grill them year round. They aren’t as fresh but something about grilling corn in the dead of winter makes me happy.

 

Preparing the vegetable

Peel back the husk and remove some but do not remove all the layers. These will protect and help to steam the corn when on the grill. Clean out the hairs (the silk) that grow under the husk and wash the cob and the husk. Then I put the corn in cold water and soak it for 10 to 20 minutes. Pat dry. In a small bowl mix butter with garlic (i use fresh garlic but garlic powder will do), salt and pepper to taste and coat the corn with this mixture. Close the husk around the cob and you are ready for the grill.

 

Cooking instructions

Place on a hot grill and turn occasionally. Your corn should be done in about 15 minutes.

 

Grilling Vegetables: Asparagus

 

I absolutely love asparagus not only for its great flavor but also because it is so useful for decorating. There isn't an easier vegetable for grilling.

 

What to buy

Always buy the freshest vegetables that you can. I usually calculate about 4 per person and a couple more that I steal off the grill.

 

Preparing the vegetable

I place the asparagus in a dish and drizzle with olive oil. Then I add sea salt and fresh ground pepper and mix. You will be amazed at how good these turn out.

 

Cooking instructions

Place on a hot grill turning occasionally. When you think they are ready eat one. Not tender enough…give it a couple of minutes and eat another. That gives you an excuse.

 

Grilling Vegetables: Zucchini and Eggplant

 

I list these two vegetables together because they really go well together. They are great sources of fiber (important after the amount of meat I eat them with) and taste great. For this recipe I use my vegetable grilling basket but you can do without. I’ll explain in the preparation.

 

What to buy

I figure 1 eggplant and 1 large zucchini for every 8 to 10 people.

 

Preparing the vegetable

Start by peeling the vegetables. If you have a vegetable grilling basket cut both vegetables into inch to inch and a half cubes. If you don’t have a grilling basket repent and buy one for your next BBQ and for today’s BBQ cut circles about an inch to an inch and a half thick. In a small bowl mix one minced garlic, 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. I usually add thyme or basil as well.

 

Cooking instructions

Place the vegetables on the grill and baste every couple of minutes with your vinegar mixture. Make sure you cook all sides. These are done fairly quick so throw them on when the meat has already been on the grill for a while so they will be done close to the time the meat is.

 

Grilling Vegetables: Potatoes

 

Potatoes are an American staple but they typically get left out on BBQ days...not anymore. For this recipe you will need the aluminum foil.

 

What to buy

Buy medium sized potatoes of just about any kind. I like to mix and match different kinds for appearance. You will also need to buy heavy duty aluminum foil.

 

Preparing the vegetable

Wash the potatoes and make half inch slices making sure you keep the form of the potato intact. Cover with butter, garlic, sea salt and fresh ground pepper and wrap in your heave duty aluminum foil making sure you cover the whole spud at least one and a half times.

 

Cooking instructions

I just throw the potatoes around the edge of the charcoal and go about my BBQ. These will be the last to get done but boy will they be worth it!

Now you are ready. Start with grilling these vegetables but don’t stay there. I grill peppers, cheese and bacon stuffed jalapenos, etc. You can even get crazy. For an example, something my buddy does is cut eggplant slices and uses them as a crust to make pizzas on the grill. You can do just about anything and all these recipes have infinite ways of adapting to the likes and dislikes of your family and friends. Just take my advice and grill those veggies!


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