Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Grilling Vegetables

When my husband and I first started dating, the only vegetable in his bubble was corn. Naturally, I took out a hat pin and popped that bubble and told him corn was a starch. He fell madly in love with me for saving him and pleaded with me to marry him. Nah, just kidding about bubble popping, but corn was his only vegetable. Anyway, disguising the taste of veggies is the easiest way to get him to eat them. Plus, guys will eat just about anything that's been cooked outdoors and I personally like food that is cooked outdoors because it's less mess I have to clean up.

Grilling vegetables is easy. The basic rule is to cut them into pieces that will cook quickly and evenly. All pieces should be of consistent thickness and no more than about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
A neat little trick I learned is to soak the vegetables in cold water for about 30 minutes before grilling them to keep them moist. Pat them dry and then brush lightly with oil to prevent sticking to the grill or grill basket.

Do not over cook and you'll have vegetables better than you thought possible.
If you like grilling vegetables and want to try smaller things use a grilling basket to keep them out of the fire.

Asparagus - Hold at each end and gently bend until the spear breaks. This will be your guide to cut the remaining spears in the bunch. Soak in water for 30 minutes, pat dry and brush with olive oil or for a twist, brush with vegetable oil with a few drops of sesame oil added and brush on spears). Season with a little salt and black pepper. Place on grill, turning every minute. Remove when tips start to turn brown.

Bell Peppers - Cut through the middle of the pepper top to bottom. Remove stems, seeds and whitish ribs. Brush lightly with oil and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Chili Peppers - Brush with oil. Grill whole on each side, 2-3 minutes. To reduce the heat, cut off the stems and pull out the seeds.

Corn on the cob - Gently pull back the husks but don't remove. Remove the silk and cut off the very end. Soak in cold water for about 30 minutes. Dry and brush with butter. Fold the husks back down and tie or twist the ends. Place on top rack of grill for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn to avoid burning. Another method is to de-husk and clean the corn, place on a piece of aluminum foil, place two pats of cold butter on the foil with the corn. Sprinkle the corn with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. Wrap the corn tightly and grill on upper rack for 15-20 minutes.

Eggplant - Peel and cut lengthwise for smaller eggplants or in disks top to bottom for larger eggplants. Soak in water for 30 minutes. Pat dry, brush with oil and grill 2-3 minutes.

Garlic - Take whole bulbs and cut off the root end. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper and place cut side down over a hot fire. Grill garlic bulbs for about 10 minutes or until the skin is brown.

Mushrooms - Wipe off dirt with a damp towel. Place clean shrooms in a disposable foil bread pan, add 3/4 stick of butter, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Place pan on top rack of grill and let butter melt while the rest of your goodies are cooking. OR Brush portabella mushroom caps with oil and grill for about 10 minutes.

Onions - Remove skin and cut horizontally about 1/2 inch thick. Brush with oil and grill 3-4 minutes.

Tomatoes - (Technically a fruit) Cut in half, top to bottom. Brush with a light coating of oil, sprinkle cut side with salt and black pepper and grill cut side down 2-3 minutes.

Potatoes - Wash thoroughly and dry. Rub with oil. Wrap in aluminum foil and grill 35-40 minutes, turning occasionally.

Zucchini and small squash - Slice 1/2 inch thick rounds or cube. Brush with oil, season with salt and black pepper. Grill 2-3 minutes per side.


April said...

Thanks for commenting in my blog! I am glad that you did so that I could check yours out. I am from Knoxville, so not far from you at all! All of your recipes look wonderful and I have already marked some of them to try

Anonymous said...

hey can we do exchange some backlinks? By the way my hubby also use corn only (before marriage)

Katherine Aucoin said...

To anonymous...sure give me your email address and we can work it out.

Lanny said...

You have officially made me crave vegetables! :) I'm an oddball when it comes to veggies...I love mushy asparagus, and I really love it cold. I like the stem (stalk?) of broccoli, but not the top. Craving grilled veggies is good for me! My husband will be thrilled that I want them the normal way tonight. :)