‘Tis the season for GRILLING. As you welcome back delightful smoky flavors for all your favorite main dishes, consider leaving frozen veggies in the freezer and spice up your sides on the BBQ! Grilling brings out the natural sugar in fresh veggies with intense caramelized flavor. Here’s some grill tips for great tasting vegetables each time you fire up the grill. The taste of a tender smoky veggies will have everyone reaching for seconds and thirds.
What veggies are best for grilling? Asparagus, eggplant, squash, mushrooms, peppers and onions are all grill favorites. Look for BIGGER options, skinny asparagus sticks won’t grill as well as thicker spears. Dense choices like sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower also work well, but require more cooking time. Grilled tomatoes are delicious, but are easy to overcook. Be sure to pick like veggies in terms of cooking time when making medleys to avoid mushy results.
General rule of thumb for veggie grilling: expose more surface area to heat for quicker cooking times and tender results. For extremely dense veggies like sweet potatoes and cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces. For choices like onions, zucchini and egg plant, make slices with large surface areas for easy flipping.
CONTAIN THE EXCITEMENT
Some veggies can go directly on the heat surface, but you must be careful to avoid sticking and charring. For ease of cooking and clean up, a wire basket is a no muss no fuss option to consider. Skewers are also wonderful and provide a great presentation, just be sure to pair veggies with like cooking times on each stick to avoid over or under grilling. If you are using wooden skewers, don’t forget to soak the wood in water to avoid burning.
You can even make your own grill pouch using high quality tin foil. Start with a LARGE piece of foil, place your veggies in the center with spices and a healthy fat like coconut oil, fold over and cinch sides. Check out grill stones for another great option, their ability to conduct heat can cause light charring on the veggies that tastes delicious.
SPICE IT UP
When fresh veggies are in season, there’s no need to get fancy. Toss your selections with extra virgin light tasting olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and you’re good to go. Oils help spices stick to veggies AND veggies not stick to the grill. Post-grilling, drizzle veggies with your favorite variety of PaleoChef for a clean and delicious side dish everyone will love.
DON’T FLIP OUT
When grilling veggies, the same rule of thumb applies as with meat. Patience is key. Flip just once after placing on the grill. If you are looking for those awesome grill marks, you need to let them develop.
If you’re feeling unsure and insecure about grilling times, there’s thousands of resources on the internet to help. Check out this handy guide from addictedtogrilling.com for some great advice. If you are as crazy about veggies are we are, we want to see! Tag @stevespaleogoods in your IG pics of beautiful seasonal grilled veggies so we can share them with the world.