Nothing beats outdoor grilling on a warm summer night. When you are grilling your meat, don’t forget the vegetables. Grilled vegetables go well with grilled meat or fish and make wonderful left-overs. My favorites are broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini and red peppers, mushrooms, and onions. One of many great things about grilling vegetables is that they are done in a jiffy. Sweet potatoes take about 12-15 minutes to cook on the grill; less dense vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, snap peas, summer squash, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and corn take just 5-7 minutes, depending on how tender you like them.
The best thing about grilled vegetables is that they are delicious. Even the non-vegetable eating family member may find that they like grilled vegetables. The slight charring brings out the sweetness and adds a nice smoky flavor. All that’s needed is to first toss the vegetables in a little olive oil and salt. For more flavor, follow the steps below with one of the marinade recipes from the bottom of the page.
Steps for marinating vegetables:
- Cut vegetables to desired thickness and put in bowl.
- Pour marinade over vegetables and stir to coat evenly. You only need enough to slightly coat the vegetables.
- Marinade for 30 minutes before grilling.
Top 4 Ways to Grill Vegetables:
- Use a grill basket. Line the basket with aluminum foil to prevent drippings from the marinade. If you do not have a grill basket, fold a 24-inch long piece of heavy-duty foil in half and fold up and crimp the edges to create a lip and prevent spilling.
- Make kabobs. Cut the vegetables in thick, chunky pieces so that they stay on the skewer. Smaller vegetables like cherry tomatoes work well on kabobs. Pineapples also work well on skewers and are delicious on the grill. When grilling both meat and vegetables at the same time, make separate skewers for each, as the vegetables do not take as long to cook and will need to come off first.
- Wrap in a foil packet. Use a 24-inch long piece of foil and fold in half. Open the foil and on one half arrange thinly sliced vegetables in a single layer, slightly overlapping. Once you have assembled the vegetables, fold the foil in half over top of the vegetables. Fold over and pinch the edges of the bottom and top together to create a tight seal. Close the grill and cook until the vegetables are tender. Use caution while opening, as the steam is HOT.
- Put directly on the grill. Cut in thin, long pieces so that the vegetables do not fall through the grates. Try to cut your vegetables the same size so that they will cook uniformly. Also, keeping vegetables thin will maximize the amount of surface area in contact with the heat allowing them to cook quickly and to get that crispy outside. Corn, either shucked or unshucked, cooks well on the grill. If you choose to shuck the corn, just lightly brush on some olive oil and a little salt.
Here are a few marinades to get you started. Depending on the amount of vegetable you have, you may have some left over. You can either make half of the recipe or store the leftover in the refrigerator for next time.
Lemon Soy Ginger
Great on broccoli
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette
Great on carrots, peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
Great on mushrooms and onions
- ½ cup sherry vinegar
- 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¾ cup olive oil