I think I do grilled veggies more than anything else in the summer. Asparagus to zucchini winds up sizzling on there. You don’t need special grill pans to do it and the veggie pieces don’t have to fall through the grill; just change how you cut them before you put them on.
Portabella mushrooms are my favorite grilled veggie because they can be a burger, sliced into salads, atop a burger, or in a wrap with the other veggies. I marinate them in a mixture of 2T worchestershire sauce, 2T fig (if available) or plain balsamic vinegar, 1T oil, and salt and pepper. Zucchini and yellow squash are sliced in half lengthwise. I try to get smaller (or Asian) eggplants—which are less bitter—and slice them the same way. Start eggplant and zucchini on the grill cut-side down on medium until you have some nice marks. Turn and cook until the eggplant starts to puff and the juices in the zucchini and squash start to bubble. They are now done. A great marinade is the Tuscan Italian dressing from Trader Joe’s. Just brush some on.
Peppers just need to be rinsed and can go on whole. No point marinating as the skin will be blackened and peeled off. Just turn the peppers as the skin begins to blacken and continue until all sides have blistered. Don’t worry about the paper bag nonsense. Just put the peppers on a plate or in a bowl to cool and slip the skins off. Don’t forget to pull out the stem and remove the seeds. A little garlic and basalmic vinegar can be added now, if you wish. Just trim the bottoms off the asparagus and lightly coat with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. “Roll” the asparagus on the grill until there are grill marks on all sides and when you pick one up (be careful) it will be a little limp.
Sweet potatoes are also wonderful, cut lengthwise, brushed with a raspberry vinaigrette and grilled. Onions are cut in half or thirds through the middle to make thick rounds and brushed with a bit of balsamic vinegar. Grill both till you see nice grill marks on both sides and they are tender. Since the onions and sweet potatoes take a bit longer, I start them first and put them on the top rack on the grill or even in the microwave to finish. Think also of grilling stuff out of the ordinary, like chickpeas. >
2 cups cooked or canned drained chickpeas 1 T garlic confit oil or olive oil 1 tsp balsamic or other vinegar 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 1/2 tsp cumin a little salt and pepper Toss the ingredients together. Grill them on high until browned, less then 5 minutes.
Veggies are delicious hot, room temperature or cold, so they can be done in advance. They can be cut into bite sized pieces and skewered as an appetizer, put in a wrap with some hummus or pesto and a slice of Jersey tomato or added to pasta, quinoa or over polenta for a quick dinner. With so many ways to enjoy them, there’s no reason not to give your hamburgers and chicken some colorful company on your grill and add more veggies to your life.