Maybe this post should be on my recipe page, but I'm thinking I'd like to share my grilled veggie ideas and hopefully you will share a few with me.
Over the past few years, Frank and I have abandoned the stove top and oven and seem to cook primarily on either the gas or charcoal grill. Yes, partly because clean up is so simple, but mainly because grilled simply makes everything taste better.
I give you my list of vegetables we've grilled, starting with the most unusual. Before you get grillin' green, purchase a large grill basket. (Here's an example from Kohl's)
- OKRA - Take fresh and tender okra, prickly tops removed, tossed in olive oil then dressed with cracked salt and pepper, throw in the grill basket and toss occasionally until soft and a tad charred. We first enjoyed this delicacy when Glenn Jones grilled fresh okra from his garden as an appetizer. Unfortunately, Margi Jones and I missed out because we didn't hear the part about them being an appetizer until they were all gone.
- BROCCOLI - Toss with garlic infused olive oil, cracked sea salt and pepper. Grill until soft but still bright green. Serve with Recipe #13 White House Spicy Noodles. (see Burney Family Recipe page)
- SWEET ONIONS - You can grill onions in a grill basket with any other veggies, but start the onions first because they take longer. Cut into wedges. Dress with olive oil, butter, salt and pepper, marjoram, thyme, basil, garlic - whatever floats your boat. You can waste a lot of time and energy by putting a whole onion in tinfoil with seasonings and grilled for an hour, but seriously, that's steamed onions.
- SQUASH - ANY summer squash will do - zucchini, yellow, or those cute little pattypan squash you find at the farmer's market. Slice, cube or cut squash into spears, dress with "Renaissance Seasoning" (a product from Savory Spice Shop) or salt, pepper, garlic salt, oregano, marjoram, thyme, etc., toss in olive oil, then toss into the grill basket and keep tossing until tender and covered in grill marks.
- BEETS - Yes, fresh beets on the grill are "to die for". Put on kitchen gloves, peel and quarter red, orange or yellow beets. Dress with olive oil and salt, then grill 20-25 minutes until soft. Yes, they take a long time, but MAN these sweet treats are worth it.
- CARROTS - Pare and slice carrots. Brush the grill basket with olive oil. Toss the carrots with fresh thyme, salt and pepper. You CAN boil prepped carrots for 10 minutes for less time on the grill, or grill for 20- 25 minutes. Like beets, they take a while, but are so worth the wait. Finish with a tad of butter if you must, but I don't think they need ANYTHING else.
- GREEN BEANS - String, trim and like the carrots you can boil them for 5 minutes to get them started, but seriously that only requires you to wash a pot, so just brush the grill basket with olive oil and start grilling. Here you COULD add a few pieces of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces and grill along with the green beans and other than salt and pepper, in 20 minutes you've got southern style green beans.
- ASPARAGUS - Pop off the tough ends of the spears, dress in... yes, you're catching on... olive oil, salt and pepper, then lemon zest or a touch of lemon juice. Grill in the basket until tender, but still bright green.
- SNAP PEAS - Prep like green beans and grill like asparagus.
- MIXED BASKET - Have fun. Combine any of the above and remember to add the veggies that take more cooking time first. (For example, carrots, green beans and beets first, squash and snap peas last.)