Grilling and chilling is so fulfilling

grilled_veggiesIf you haven’t already, it’s time to breakout the grill from its hibernation, time to clean it up, shine it up and get things going. And those “things” are what your body needs – vegetables, and plenty of them. Here are some great tips and recipes for grilling vegetables this summer.

  1. Toss the vegetables in oil – very lightly that is. Vegetables have a tendency to dry-out when heated, so make certain you brush or toss them in a light oil. Not too much as dripping oil can cause flare-ups on the grill.
  1. Density affects cooking times – different vegetables take longer to cook than others. Potatoes can take a while, depending on their size; many green vegetables take only minutes. We like to sear our vegetables first, and then move them to a cooler place on the grill.
  1. Smaller vegetables might require an added resource – like a skewer or some tin foil. Mushrooms, slices of zucchini, cherry tomatoes and onions can fall through the grates of a grill, so use skewers or a tin foil basket to keep your food intact.
  1. If you’re in a hurry slice thin – but if you’re not, go slow and low to preserve the flavors of your vegetables. For eggplant and onions for instance, if you slice thin, you’ll be able to get a crispy texture if you place them directly on the grill.
  1. Use tin foil pockets – we like to use a tin foil wrap for potatoes, sweet potatoes and other root vegetables. One of our favorites is to slice or wedge our potatoes, drizzle them in light olive oil, add kosher salt and pepper with either a hint of garlic or some rosemary. Depending on how dense you cut the potatoes, all you need to do is cook them 12 minutes on each side, turning only once.

One of America’s greatest grill-masters is the world famous chef, Bobby Flay. Now, we’re not confusing grilling with barbequing, that’s a whole different type of grilling that we’ll be discussing in the future. But for grilling vegetables, Chef Flay has many intriguing recipes that your family would love to consume. For starters, here’s a great recipe for sweet potato fries: http://www.food.com/recipe/bobby-flays-grilled-sweet-potato-fries-429995.

No doubt you’ve already noticed the abundance of asparagus in grocery stores and at your local farmer’s market.  Here’s another wonderful recipe from Bobby Flay for grilled asparagus that our family always asks for. Try this one, it’s a proven winner: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/grilled-asparagus-with-green-peppercorn-vinaigrette-recipe.html.

And while you’re grilling, don’t forget to do some chilling by making Bobby’s favorite lemonade recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/minted-lemonade-recipe.html.

So, this week, make it grilled vegetable week. Fire up the grill, heat up your favorite vegetables, kick back with a cold, tall lemonade and start enjoying the summer.

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