Tips & Tricks to Produce the Best Grilled Veggies.
Yeah, it’s been done, but why aren’t more of us doing it? Maybe because grilling veggies is just a little intimidating? They cook fast and you have to keep an eye on them, but when you do it right, grilling brings out rich, sweet caramelized veggie flavors that are hard to beat. Follow these tips and in no time at all, grilling veggies will be as basic as the burger — and better for you!
Tip 1: Know Your Veggies
Thicker, denser veggies, like potatoes, yams, beets and carrots will take longer to grill, but you don’t want to keep them over high heat because they will char on the outside but remain raw on the inside. Solution? Spread evenly in a veggie basket coated with cooking spray, sear over high heat, flip, sear again and then move to a cooler part of the grill. You can also par boil and then grill, just for the added smoky flavor and color.
More delicate veggies, like lettuces, radicchio, green beans, tomatoes, etc., will cook fast — a minute or two. Keep these away from high heat in all cases and keep a close watch. Aim for cooking them through with a couple of grill lines for ambiance.
Tip 2: Market District Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Before they hit the grill, toss or spray your veggies with a light coating of Market District extra virgin olive oil to keep them from sticking. Tossing in olive oil also allows any seasonings to stick better. But be careful, too much oil can cause dripping and flare-ups. A little goes a long way!
Tip 3: Size & Thickness — Keep it Consistent
Clearly, the smaller/thinner you cut your veggies, the faster they will cook. That said, make sure the thickness is consistent, and if you want crispiness, slice thin. This also allows for more surface area, so veggies like onions and eggplant will be done in no time.
Tip 4: Skewer vs. Grill Basket
This is kind of a no-brainer. If the veggies are so small they will fall through the grate, (like cherry tomatoes) put them on a skewer.
Tip 5: Cook in Packets
If you are unable to attend to your veggies with fierce focus, consider foil packets, which is a preferred method for dense, root vegetables. Simply spray the foil with nonstick spray, fill with one layer of veggies, fold and crimp. Cover the grill and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. When you open a packet to check doneness, be careful of steam.