Thursday, August 25, 2011

Easy Grilled Vegetables


I could eat these easy grilled vegetables every day. And in the summer, we almost do. Sometimes it's just one type (green beans rise to new height done this way!) or a couple (zucchini and onion), but most of the time we grill a variety.

And you know that if I love something, you will be hearing about it sooner or later- so today I'm happy ecstatic to share how we grill vegetables, so you can eat them everyday, too.

We used to just grill slices of single vegetables - you know, slice the zucchini (or tomato, or onion...), carefully place them on the grill, and turn them with tongs until they were ready to eat. It usually took up a lot of room and was more work.

Then one day last summer we found a grill basket in the back of a cupboard that Brian's folks had given us and decided to grill up a few vegetables with it.

Oh. My. It was love - deep love - at the first bite. Why had this been sitting in our cupboard for so long? Who knows, and who cares, because this basket is in almost daily use during the grilling season.

With a grilling basket (a wok-like "pan" with holes), you can chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces without worry - as long as they are bigger than the holes they won't fall through the grill'

After the vegetables are chopped (it's best to make them about the same size as you're able), just toss them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, LOTS of garlic, and some red pepper flakes for a bit of spiciness.

This is perfect for using up handfuls of veggies- either as they're ripening from the garden, or what you need to use up from the fridge. This time my bowl contained both- just a few mushrooms and a red pepper from the fridge plus onion, cauliflower, zucchini, green beans, carrots and potato from the garden.

I don't usually add potatoes, but I had just harvested some that I wanted to use up, and in order for these, the cauliflower, and the carrots to be done in the same amount of time as the other vegetables, I microwaved them with water to steam for a few minutes - just until they were crisp-tender. I sliced the potatoes pretty thin, but I should've pre-cooked them a bit more, because they still took longer than I wanted.

the best way to cook them is to start them over high heat for a few minutes without stirring. This seems to get some of the juices cooked out and starts the nice charring effect.

Then he stirs them around a bit, closes the lid and lets them cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until they are nicely browned and cooked through (though still crisp), with spots of wonderful, grilled-marked goodness.

  • For an Asian flavor add some sesame oil and soy sauce instead of the olive and salt. And for spiciness, our favorite Sriracha sauce adds a nice bite.
  • For a Middle-Eastern or Thai flavor try adding a teaspoon or so of curry powder and tossing them with a can of coconut milk after they're grilled and serve over rice.
  • Purposely make extra to have enough to add to a pasta salad the next day.
How will you use these vegetables?

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