Move Over Meat! Add Delicious Fruits and Veggies to Your Next BBQ!
Looking to step up your grilling game? Add some delicious vegetables and fruit to your grill this summer with a few simple, must-try tips below.
Some vegetables are hardier than others and require a longer cooking time. To save time on the grill, microwave, steam or boil vegetables, like carrots, yams and potatoes, ahead of time.
Always start with a clean grill to avoid unwanted flavors seeping into your produce. Cut or slice vegetables to allow them to cook quickly and evenly. Slice potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant into ¼-inch slices or rounds. Cut peppers and onions into thick strips. Some vegetables, like asparagus, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms, can be left whole on the grill. Corn can be left in-husk or wrapped in foil to grill.
Chose fruit to grill that is just about the correct ripeness to eat. This way, the fruit will hold together better. Most fruit, like peaches, pineapple, apples, pears, mango, melon and watermelon, should be sliced big enough to prevent them from falling through the grill grates – or use a grilling mat. If grilling bananas, try keeping them in the peel to protect the soft texture.
Marinades and Seasoning
Flavoring your veggies can be as simple as spraying or tossing vegetables with healthy oils, like olive or canola, and adding your favorite herbs (fresh or dried) and seasonings. Or, with a little planning, you can marinate them for about 30 minutes ahead of time. With fruit, you can brush them with oil or a little melted butter, experiment with a homemade glaze or leave them plain!
Using a grilling basket can be beneficial when flipping vegetables and fruit without the risk of losing them through the grill grates. Skewers work great, too, but keep in mind: if using wooden skewers, you’ll want to soak them in water for about 30 minutes before grilling to reduce the risk of burning. Also, try wrapping your seasoned and oiled vegetables in aluminum foil for a simple way to grill produce.
Grill lines are fun to try and create, but no one likes burnt food. Most fruits and vegetables are best cooked over indirect, medium heat. Cooking times vary greatly depending on the specific fruit or vegetable. A good rule of thumb is turn them only once and be patient. Cook until crisp-tender, making sure not to burn them.
“7 Tips for Grilling Like a Pro,” tasteofhome.com, April 30, 2019.
“5 Tips for Grilling the Best Vegetables Ever,” thekitchn.com, April 30, 2019.
“5 Tips for How to Cook Grilled Vegetables Perfectly,” eatingwell.com, April 30, 2019.