Try some of these easy grilled vegetable recipes next time you do some outdoor cooking. Veggies are quick-grilling goodies that can be prepared while the meat rests before cutting.
The great flavor of grilled veggies comes from high heat caramelization, smoke, and seasonings. You just can't get flavor like that from baking and boiling. All kinds of vegetables can be grilled: peppers, eggplant, potatoes, cauliflower, squash, green beans, onions...you name it, you can grill it! Some veggies do well over direct heat, and others need to be indirect grilled.
Before slapping the green stuff on the grill, give the vegetables a light coat of cooking oil. That will help keep the moisture in and the seasonings stay on.
Seasonings can be as simple as shaking on a little salt and pepper. You can also tie the flavor of the veggies in with the main course. Season them with a little of the dry rub used on the meat, or some of the herbs and spices used in the marinade.
Most grilled vegetable recipes take about 10 minutes over direct, medium high heat in a covered grill. One-quarter to 1/3 inch is the perfect thickness. Turn all vegetables one time halfway through grilling. Grilling time will vary depending on how "done" you like your veggies to be. Adjust grilling times to please your own taste.
There are a few exceptions to the general guideline.
Corn can be grilled with the husks on or with the husks removed. Each method adds a unique flavor to the kernels. Grilled corn on the cob is a great addition to any outdoor barbecue or picnic.
Green onions (scallions, spring onions) can be grilled in as little as five minutes. The green tops of the onions can blacken quickly. To prevent this, position the white ends over direct heat and the green tops over a cool area of the grill. They'll be perfect every time.
Tomatoes can be sliced 1/2 inch thick, or halved lengthwise, cored and seeded. Five minutes over direct medium high heat is perfect, turning once.
Summer Squash comes in several varieties. Zucchini, yellow crookneck and scalloped squash all are good when grilled.
Broccoli is a favorite of mine, and I've found it can burn easily over direct heat. Peel the stems, then lightly coat the crowns with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Indirect grilling for 15 minutes is enough to just tenderize the stems. Position the broccoli crowns stem-down as they grill, and don't turn them.
Grilling asparagus is similar to grilling green onions...position the tips into a cool area, with the stem ends over direct heat. Don't snap off and discard the tough ends. Instead, just peel off the tough skin. See Grilled Asparagus for a nifty recipe.
Potatoes can be grilled in 10 to 12 minutes when sliced 1/4 inch thick. I prefer thicker slices...1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. The thicker slices will take 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them when lightly browned. If the inside is not done after the second side is browned, finish them using indirect heat.
Onions can be left whole and grilled. Peel them, then carefully cut the center out without puncturing through the bottom. Add a couple of teaspoons of butter and indirect grill for at least an hour, or until the onions are soft. These are GOOD! And if you click on the picture of onions, you'll go to my new page,
Grilled Whole Onions.
Onion slices, 1/2 inch thick, can be grilled over direct heat in about 15 minutes.
One-quarter inch slices of eggplant can be grilled in 10 minutes. You can also cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and grill the halves skin side down. Grill them over medium high direct heat for 10 minutes, then grill with indirect heat until the eggplant is soft and mushy. Scoop the eggplant out with a spoon and add a little salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Great on crackers or good chewy bread.
Mushrooms can be grilled whole, with the stems and gills removed. They can also be stuffed and grilled. Try this grilled stuffed mushrooms recipe if you're looking for an excellent snack or appetizer to eat while the main course is cooking.