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How to grill vegetables

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Really good grilled vegetables

Meat isn’t the only star on the summer grill. Those farmers’ market and garden vegetable picks are just waiting for a place over the heat. From laying vegetables, such as zucchini halves, directly on the grate to steaming vegetables in foil (cherry tomatoes tend to fall into the flames), the grill offers a delicious platform for flavorful, healthy veggie sides. Here are a few grilled vegetable tips and recipes to try the next time you fire up the grill.

Grilled Vegetables

Grilling Vegetables

Grill roasted corn cobs, strips of grill-marked summer squash, and lightly charred eggplant slices are just three of the many grilled vegetable options you can partner with your summer array of grilled seafood, chicken, and meats. For cooking right on the grill, choose vegetables that, when cut, can securely lay on the grate without falling through. For smaller cuts or vegetables, use a grill basket. Another option is wrapping veggies and seasonings in a foil packet to lay on the grill while the other grilled goods are cooking.

5 Tips for grilling vegetables

Grilling vegetables is one of the most flavorful ways to prepare these inherently healthy foods. In fact, grilling concentrates their natural flavors and makes them irresistibly tooth tender. Here are a few tips to ensure grilled veggie success.

1. Keep vegetables evenly sized

For even cooking, cut your vegetables into same-sized pieces, preferably large enough that they don't fall through the grate.

2. Season generously

You can use spice and herb rubs, flavored oils or marinades to add flavor to your vegetables.

3. Turn up the grill heat

Most recipes will recommend medium heat on the grill, which will allow enough time for the interior of the vegetables to get tender while lightly browning the outside.

4. Grill and flip

Brush grate or veggie basket with oil before adding vegetables in a single layer. Turn frequently, basting with oil or marinade, until grilled veggies are browned and tender. Hardier vegetables will take longer to cook.

5. Serving suggestion for grilled vegetables

Grilled vegetables are delicious as a side all on their own, but you can toss them with feta cheese, fresh herbs, citrus zest, and nuts to turn them into a gorgeous grilled salad. Grilled veggies are best served hot off the grill or at room temperature.

Fire up the grill, the veggies are coming!

Grilled vegetable recipes

Grilled Leeks and Asparagus

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 small leeks
  • 16 thick spears asparagus
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Remove the tough green tops from the leeks and trim the root end, keeping it intact to hold the leek together; rinse well, removing any dirt and debris; slice leeks in half lengthwise; trim the woody ends from the asparagus.
  2. Preheat grill to medium heat; brush the leeks and asparagus generously with oil and season with salt and pepper; oil the grate; place vegetables on grill crosswise and cook, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, occasionally brushing with olive oil.
  3. When vegetables are tender and lightly browned, transfer to a serving platter; serve warm with a lemon aioli or yogurt dip.

Grilled Curry Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 large sweet potatoes, cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Finely chopped mint

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, toss potatoes, oil, and curry to combine; season with salt and pepper and toss again; set aside.
  2. Preheat grill to medium; oil the grate; place potatoes in a single layer on grate and grill, turning every 2 to 3 minutes; brush with oil occasionally, until they are tender and lightly browned.
  3. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and gently toss with lime zest and juice and mint; serve with ketchup or honey Greek yogurt.

Grilled Baby Cauliflower

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 heads baby cauliflower, leaves removed
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Bring a deep, medium-sized pot of water to a boil; add cauliflower and blanch for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened; lift out of the water with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium. Pat cauliflower dry with paper towels and brush generously with oil; season with salt and pepper; grill, turning every 2 to 3 minutes; baste with oil occasionally, until tender and lightly browned.
  3. Transfer cauliflower to a cutting board and cut into slices; fan slices out on a serving platter and sprinkle with feta and parsley.

Even more great grilling recipes

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