June 11, 2007

ON THE GRILL













Nate and I have a gorgeous natural gas grill. It sits on the back patio just steps away from the kitchen. Because it's so convenient, I can't imagine cooking meat using any other method then grilling.
We had Ryan, Ruth and Hugo over for dinner last weekend and enjoyed some marvelous savory blue cheese burgers and grilled veggies. I read a lot of online advice about grilling vegetables and after trying a few of them I think I've become pretty good at it. Here are a few simple suggestions to consider when cooking veggies on the grill.
First, what vegetables are good on the grill? I like green and yellow squash, tomatoes, peppers {any and all}, onions, carrots, and corn. I have yet to conquer the eggplant but I hear it's amazing.
The most important step to follow before dropping your vegetables on the grill is the 30 minute cold water soak. This allows them a chance to soak up additional moisture so they don't turn to dust on the grill.
Prepare squash by cutting them in half lengthwise. If you are cooking green, red or yellow peppers just cut them in half and de-seed. Cut tomatoes in half (leave seeds in), leave onions in larger chunks and keep them together with a tooth pick. Cut carrot in half lengthwise unless you are cooking medium to small sizes which you would leave whole. With corn on the cob, just pull the husks down but don't pull them off. Remove silk. Throw all your veggies {except the tomato} into a sink full of cold water and let them soak for a half hour.
Once the grill is hot and ready, load your veggies on a try, spray them with olive oil and sprinkle on any of the savory spices you prefer. Just salt and pepper is delicious. Spread butter on your corn on the cob, sprinkle with salt or garlic salt, cut about 1/2" off the top and pull the husks back into place. Tie husks closed with string.
Put all the veggies on the grill at the same time with the cut side down. Flip them about every 3-5 minutes. Tomatos take 5-7 minutes, peppers are done in about 7 minutes, carrots and squash takes about 20 minutes and corn on the cob can take up to 30 minutes.
I prefer grilling vegetables this way because you can remove each one when it reaches perfection. Kabobs don't work as well because everything is cut into big square chunks which are difficult to cook evenly. Plus, it's difficult to make sure each veggie is well done at the same time; I usually end up with some charred and some raw. Once you pull everything off the grill you can cut into bite-sized chunks and serve on a pretty plate.
One last tip: if you are cooking veggies, cook a lot. Left overs taste great in pasta and on sandwiches. Let's all try to get in our daily dose of vegetables shall we?

2 comments:

Brandi said...

Nice grill. We have a Charmglow as well, but ours is just a baby. Hopefully it will grown up some day into a Man grill full of all sorts of meats and foot long hot dogs. I'm a big fan of grilled pineapple too.

tim & brandi said...

Oops. I think that I was supposed to post that message as Tim this way...cross your fingers.