Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How About Grilling Some Different Vegetables?

I believe most people think of asparagus, onions, green peppers and mushrooms when grilling vegetables comes up. But there are so many other vegetables to think about when it comes to grilling.  There are very simple recipes for some vegetables to more complicated ones.  The choices are truly endless.

There may be more but basically there are 3 methods to grilling vegetables.  One can put them straight on the grill grates which works well for many of them.  You can purchase a grill pan or basket that works well for the smaller cuts or a mixture of vegetables,  And you can always put the vegetables in a foil wrap or package to grill.

Some vegetables that are good for this grilling method include potatoes, large mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower steaks and onions.  One of the recipes for this week is "Grilled Cauliflower" and they are cut like half inch steaks so they hold together.  You could use the second method and cut the cauliflower up into flowerettes, but I prefer the steak type cut.  When grilling onions, it is best to cut them into thick slices and run a skewer through them so they hold together.  If using wood skews, make sure you soak them well before inserting through the onion.  In using this method, make sure to cut vegetables into large planks or thick slices so they don't fall through the grill grates.  The second recipe of the week is for "Grilled Sweet Potatoes" and these I cut into slices on the bias after peeling.

The second method mentioned was to use a grill pan or basket. The grill pan I'm talking about will have small holes throughout it.  This keeps the small cuts of vegetables from falling through while it lets heat in and juices dripping out.  The grill basket is a metal mesh connected to a wire frame.  I've used both and prefer the grill pan over the wire basket.  The reason is many of the grill pans are non-stick and easy to clean.  The same can't be said for the wire baskets I've tried.  They tend to be hard to clean unless you can find a non-stick one.

The last method is using foil to hold the vegetables while on the grill.  In my cookbook, "More Than Your First Cookbook" I have a recipe for "Potato & Onion Packets" that uses this method. Be sure to check it out, as they are delicious.  In this method you place all your vegetables in the foil and seal it so that everything stays inside the packet.  You can do individual packets or large packets to put on a serving platter after removing the contains from the foil packets.  This method allows you to put butter or sauces in the packets without worrying about losing it during the grilling time.  Remember when using foil packets to turn them more often to keep the vegetables from burning.  In fact, I will put the individual packets on a hanging basket rack that many grills have inside them and cook with the lid closed.  This really helps in keeping them from burning and opens up grill grate space for the main dish to grill.

There is another vegetable that everyone eats in the summer, corn on the cob.  Many people will drop  it in boiling water or microwave it.  Both work well, although I go for the microwave method if I'm doing corn in the house.  One, it keeps the house cooler, it's quicker and in my opinion tastes better too.  You can find the recipe for in the microwave in the "Sides" recipe tab above.  There is a video for a second way to do corn in the microwave worth watching above under the "My Favorite Links" tab.

I've a link below to some more grilling recipes for vegetables. They are a little more involved recipes but are fun and tasty. "Happy Cooking" until next week.


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