No barbecue or home-cooked meal is complete without a good, hearty dose of veggies. For many years, most people saw vegetables as something we had to eat because they are healthy. The real reason most people don’t like to eat vegetables is that most of us grew up knowing them as tasteless, colorless and unappetizing — all because of the way they were cooked.
Vegetables don’t have to be boiled or steamed to death. They can still be just as healthy when grilled, and they can be even tastier. Here are five ways to become a champion at grilling your vegetables.
1. Take a Knife to Them
Some vegetables, like marrows and peppers, need some extra preparation beyond just chopping them up. The stalks of the marrows and seeds of the peppers are very bitter and unpalatable, so it’s best to make sure you remove them before you start.
When it comes to chopping up your vegetables in general, big chunks (but not too big) are a great idea. When your vegetables are in bigger chunks as opposed to small little shreds, they look more appetizing and retain more flavor and nutrients while being cooked.
2. Season Them
Seasoning is a very important start. Salt and pepper go without saying, but you can get even more creative. Herbs like basil, rosemary, and thyme add great flavor to your grilled vegetables.
If you like a bit of bite to your meal, go ahead and add some dried chili flakes. Garlic adds so much more flavor and aroma to the finished product, and the grilling process will bring out its unique flavor.
3. Use a Good Dose of High-Quality Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil has so many benefits that will add to the overall health score of your side of grilled vegetables. The key here is not to over-oil your vegetables but to add just the right amount to help retain moisture and at the same time give them a crisp, grilled finish.
A good-quality olive oil will also add to the flavor of your finished dish and complement the seasoning.
4. Turn Up the Heat
Vegetables are best grilled at high heat, as this cooks them faster and retains all their nutrients. The higher heat also helps the oil cook off to give you that tasty crisp finish, which also brings out the flavor of the seasoning.
If you are grilling your vegetables over the fire, then it is best to put them on first, as they will still need a reasonable amount of time to cook through — especially if you have included butternut squash or sweet potatoes.
5. Put a Stick in Them
If you are serving your grilled veg at your barbecue, it’s a great idea to place them on skewers. Your guests can then enjoy them as an appetizer.