As the weather starts to think about getting warmer in the South (at least we can hope), we begin to plan our outdoor meals. One of my favorite things is grilled fresh vegetables, but as a friend once told me, it isn’t necessary a given that they will turn out good.
So, let’s talk about perfect grilled veggies. Of course, some of that is subjective, but I believe charred on the outside yet tender on the inside sure beats overcooked and mushy, or undercooked and too crunchy. If you cook them about 1o minutes on a hot grill, they will likely come out burned on the outside and raw on the inside, but if you cook them just 10 minutes on a medium fire they won’t cook long enough. What are the BarbecueTricks.com secrets? As with anything, good food takes time – low and slow is best. All veggies are not created equal – they don’t cook at the same rate, as a general rule, cook them over a MEDIUM fire for about 16-20 minutes.
The seasoning is also very important – bland is not good no matter how it’s cooked! Try using different oil-based dressings, such as Italian dressing, to marinate your veggies at least an hour before grilling. Just before skewering or loading into a grill basket (shown), sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and garlic (and cayenne if you’re like me). If you do not use an oil-based dressing, try a sprinkle of Greek or Cajun seasoning and toss in a little olive oil before cooking. After cooking, sprinkle a little more dressing over all to coat and serve immediately.
So, if you follow these simple guidelines below, and have properly seasoned your favorites, you will be rewarded with pride-of-the-neighborhood grilled vegetables!
Zucchini, Onion & Yellow Squash – Grill over medium heat 18 – 22 minutes. Turn as needed for even cooking.
Mushrooms, Eggplant, Bell Peppers – Grill over medium heat 16 – 18 minutes, turning once.