Are you trying for a more plant-based diet? Want to include more veggies but grow weary of salads? The abundance of fresh produce at the farmer’s market looks so inviting but always ends up mushy in the crisper drawer? Look no further than your back yard, patio, or balcony!
Its grill season, not only here in So Cal, but all across the nation – so grill those colorful orbs of goodness! There’s no easier or better way to cook vegetables and it brings out the flavors like no other method. Fire-blackened and seasoned with its own juices, the high heat of grilling caramelizes the plant sugars and evaporates much of the moisture that can result in the limp tasteless vegetables that we’ve all experienced . You can turn pale to perfection in minutes! Minimal prep time: washing, slicing, slather on some olive oil mixed with the juice of a lemon or lime and a teaspoon of your favorite dried seasoning (or a few tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs if you picked some up at the market or from your herb garden).
Oil your grill rack by using a saturated paper towel or spraying with nonstick spray. Heat the grill to medium-high. You can place the sliced vegetables directly on the grill, use a grill pan, or do as I often do: place the veggies on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil on top of a cookie sheet and slide it onto the grill rack. If you use aluminum foil, you can slide the entire sheet off using a heavy duty mitt and the same cookie sheet.
Any vegetables can be grilled. Potatoes and corn* take the longest – 8-12 minutes, brown on one side and then turn. Peppers take about 6-10 minutes. Squash, asparagus, mushrooms, onions, and green onions require only about 5 minutes or the time it takes to make beautiful grill marks.
*For corn, you’ve got to use butter! Mixed with some chopped garlic and minced fresh parsley (or basil, dill or tarragon). When grilling corn, many people like to soak them in the husk and grill with the husk on, but this steams the corn, so I prefer to grill them “huskless” on top of aluminum foil to protect the kernels from becoming too brown.