Five tips to great fruit and vegetable grilling
Recent studies show that 87 percent of American households have outdoor barbecues, and they believe grilling more often is a healthier way to prepare meals. Grilling also brings out the flavors of fruits and vegetables like no other cooking method can! As our eating habits are changing to include more fruits and vegetables, so are our grilling preferences. Put more vegetables—and even fruits—on your grill this summer. Follow these five easy tricks and tips to make grilling produce a breeze.
Vegetables and fruits tend to stick to the grate more because of the caramelizing sugars. Brush some oil (or spray) on the grate before adding your produce to the grill.
Cooling Rack as Veggie Grill
Tired of losing your vegetable slices to the fire? Put a metal cooling rack on the grill grate as a secondary, smaller grate grill surface so nothing falls through. And you can still get the beautiful grill marks. (We picked up this tip from Alton Brown!)
Aluminum Foil Is Your Best Friend
Cleanup is a breeze when you cook your fruits and veggies in aluminum foil packets! Add your favorite vegetables onto a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with some olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs. Fold up the packet and seal the edges well. Set the packets on the grill and let the vegetables steam themselves. You can do the same with fruits, sugar or honey, and a drizzle of orange or almond liqueur, then serve over vanilla ice cream.
Hooray for Skewers
Wooden or metal skewers make grilling fruits and vegetables easy AND fun! The key is to make sure all the pieces are about the same thickness so they cook evenly. Shishito Peppers, Mini Sweet Peppers, thick slices of sweet Maui Onion, and whole Elephant Garlic cloves are wonderful when charred on skewers. Finish off parboiled Fingerling Potatoes, Pearl Onions, or Baby Sunburst Squash on the grill for great smoky flavor and beautiful grill marks. Zululand Queen Baby Pineapple, Yellow Seedless Watermelon, and other melon cubes are all delicious when lightly caramelized.
Try Something Unexpected
You can put more on the grill than onions, peppers, carrots, and zucchini! Did you know that you can grill leafy vegetables like Belgian Endive, Radicchio, Baby Bok Choy, and even romaine lettuce? They actually get sweeter when a little charred. You can also grill Fava Beans in the pods and eat them whole, pods and all. Try avocado halves, grilled right in the skin. As for fruits, have you ever had grilled Dragon Fruit? Cube them and add to skewers with other fruits for fun fruit kebabs!
Have a great grilling season!