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Inexperienced cook trying to veggie grill...HELP

NAtiveNewYorker Jun 19, 2007 09:25 AM

What are some easy ways to please a veggie only crowd with my grill? All I know so far is to cut up a lot of veggies, toss with olive oil and some salt/pepper, and place them on the grill.

Are there fancier ways to grill veggies? Fancier seasonings?

  1. m
    mojoeater Jun 19, 2007 09:31 AM

    You can make great pizzas and quesadillas on the grill. Check our Bobby Flay's veggies recipes: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_gl

    1. r
      renov8r Jun 19, 2007 09:54 AM

      I find that spices from Asian and India/Pakistan really lend themselves to grilling. I do all kinds of veggies tossed in ghee and cumin, from potatoes to eggplant to zuchini. With Asian flavors you can do a whole range of flavors like garlic, sesame, five spice etc. -- the smaller "bite size" Asian vegetables are easier to cook with one of those perforated "grill toppers" or even just some heavy duty foil, of course you give up some ability to get a nice char, but otherwise you lose green beans and peapods to the fire gods...

      2 Replies
      1. re: renov8r
        NAtiveNewYorker Jun 19, 2007 11:47 AM

        Can you just cut up potatoes into wedges and gill them or do you need to boil (even microwave) them first?

        1. re: NAtiveNewYorker
          mojoeater Jun 19, 2007 11:59 AM

          You can grill them. Just realize that potatoes are dense and take longer than most veggies.

      2. creativeusername Jun 19, 2007 10:02 AM

        how about kebabs on rosemary skewers?

        4 Replies
        1. re: creativeusername
          Old Spice Jun 19, 2007 10:50 AM

          I always think "bobs" are fun grilling alternatives. You really can get creative, too. Leaf through some grilling cookbooks in the library or bookstore, or google, for ideas on fruits and vegetables that grill well. Avocados, for example, are great on the grill. Team up with cherry tomatoes and an interesting sauce. (There's a very good lime-cumin vinaigrette in Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone," that I like with avocados.) Maybe include some cippolini onions that you've parboiled, so they're not just charred, raw onion chunks (a kabob staple that I really don't like very much, but that's a personal thing). Pineapple and grapefruit are also good on the grill. You could do a meatless riff on sweet-and-sour dishes with the pineapple, sweet and/or hot peppers, etc., and an Asian glaze or marinade.

          Grill eggplant and make babaganoush.

          1. re: Old Spice
            creativeusername Jun 19, 2007 11:32 AM

            Avocados on the grill? Yum. Tell me more! Use underripe ones I presume?

            1. re: creativeusername
              Old Spice Jun 19, 2007 04:43 PM

              We use ripe avocados. But ones that are just ripe enough to eat. Not overly so. They're not on the grill all that long. Just as long as it takes the chicken pieces to cook through. Also, we cut them in good-sized chunks, not small bits. I'm guessing about 1/3 of an avocado half equals one chunk. They get some nice char but don't mush up too much or fall apart. Also, be sure to brush with some oil.

              If you're not putting on skewers, oil the entire half and grill. Stuff the halves, cut up for other dishes, or, as someone suggested on another thread, make guacamole with a smokey flavor imparted by the grilling. You're not really looking to cook it, just warm it up and give it some grill flavor and char.

          2. re: creativeusername
            ginnyhw Jun 19, 2007 11:54 AM

            Kebabs are a great idea - the veggies tend to slip through the grate on there own - very disappointing when they drop onto the coals. Bruchetta is also a great grill food. Grill slices of a good itailan/french type bread and rub with cut garlic. Grill whole peppers until skin is black and bubbly then drop peppers in a paper bag to steam. Then rub off the blackened skins and remove seeds and stem and you have something to put on your bruchetta. For glorious overkill top the pepper bruchetta's with fontina and stick under a broiler until the cheese is melted.

          3. grampart Jun 19, 2007 10:18 AM

            I've been using one of these for the last couple of years with great success.


            1 Reply
            1. re: grampart
              amanda3571 Jun 19, 2007 10:22 AM

              The easiest and yummiest veggies I have ever had......take any kind you want....squash, peppers, onions, mushrooms, whatever.

              Slice & marinade them for at least 1-2 hours in equal parts of olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vin, & soy. Throw them in a grill basket (like grampart shows above), heat, & enjoy...

              Really flavorful and so SO easy.

            2. h
              howchow Jun 19, 2007 12:44 PM

              beets (sliced about 1/4 in.) you can wash well and leave the skin on. olive oil and S&P. Grill until desired and then wrap in foil and leave on the grill to finish cooking.
              vegetable shumai on skewers.
              you can boil those tiny red potatoes for 5 minutes and then grill - they turn out really well.
              radicchio (1/4 the head)
              fennel (1/4 the bulb)

              2 Replies
              1. re: howchow
                NAtiveNewYorker Jun 19, 2007 01:31 PM

                great ideas, thx

                Do I cut the red potatoes in half first?

                1. re: NAtiveNewYorker
                  howchow Jun 19, 2007 01:40 PM

                  if you find the very tiny ones (the size of a kumquat) or the fingerlings you can leave them whole. i boil them for 5 minutes and toss with olive oil salt and pepper and some rosemary before grilling. when i remove them from the grill i toss back in the marinade and serve.

              2. d
                debbiel Jun 19, 2007 01:56 PM

                Some great ideas here (grilled avacados? wow! sounds great). I'll add grilled corn on the cob, whole onions (long and slow is all I have for details--my partner used to make them), and grilled fruit (particularly pineapple and peaches). And another thumbs up for grilled pizzas.

                7 Replies
                1. re: debbiel
                  creativeusername Jun 19, 2007 02:02 PM

                  good call on the grilled corn on the cob: leave 'em in the husk, soak for at least 30 minutes, remove loose husks and silk, grill on medium/high for about 20 minutes, serve with lime wedge. Definite crowd pleaser.

                  1. re: creativeusername
                    jfood Jun 19, 2007 03:04 PM


                    Jfood used to follow the method you described but was caught in a bind a couple of weeks ago and forgot to soak. So onto the grill the husks went, straight form the market and fully clothed. The results were fantastic. So, in a pinch if you forget to soak and de-silk, throw them on and take the husks and silk off when they are cooked.

                    BTW - the corn this season has been over the top great in CT.

                    1. re: jfood
                      creativeusername Jun 19, 2007 03:49 PM

                      good to know! did you lower the heat or just accept and supervise the flames?

                      1. re: creativeusername
                        jfood Jun 21, 2007 08:28 AM

                        Gas Weber. place all the burners on Med and turn the corn every 5 minutes. still working on exact timing but 15-20 seems to be the right range.

                      2. re: jfood
                        QueenB Jun 21, 2007 09:10 AM

                        We always do our corn this way, never have soaked the husk at all. The husk burns, but never burns the corn. Bit of a mess to get off, with all the crunchy burned husk, but man the flavor is like nothing else.

                        1. re: QueenB
                          creativeusername Jun 21, 2007 11:31 AM

                          try removing said burnt husks with a wet paper towel.

                    2. re: debbiel
                      Emme Jun 20, 2007 11:52 PM

                      And serve the corn w/ chili lime butter!

                    3. g
                      gourmanda Jun 19, 2007 02:00 PM

                      We love grilled vegetable sandwiches (sliced zucchini, yellow squash, sweet onion seasoned w/ olive oil and S&P) topped w/ a sliced roasted red pepper, fresh mozzarella and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I'm definitely going to try the suggestion for grilled avocado!

                      1. j
                        jjones21 Jun 19, 2007 02:47 PM

                        Some great suggestions here. However, if you are going to have a dinner party with grilled vegetables as the main dish, make sure you have some filling sides and protein options. E.G., fixings for grilled veggie sandwiches, as gourmanda mentions; hummus and pita; couscous salad with chickpeas; etc. Just vegetables are yummy, but they might leave some of your guests wanting more. (Hosts have catered to my herbivore ways with varying degrees of success; just a tip based on my experience.)

                        1. lollya Jun 19, 2007 04:08 PM

                          Maybe these black bean burgers would be a good main to your grilled veggies?

                          1. n
                            newhound Jun 19, 2007 04:32 PM

                            Get some firm polenta, and throw it on the grill in wide, 1/2 inch slices. With hot sauce alone, or as a bed for a heap of the grilled veggies (where it soaks up various juices) it can be a great addition-- gives a more meaty texture for variety.

                            1. a
                              aeros Jun 19, 2007 07:19 PM

                              Last night I grilled eggplant for the first time. Just sliced it lengthwise about 1/4 to 1/3 inches thick, coated with olive oil, seasoned with salt and garlic powder and right on the grill. Place the slices diagonal to the grill grate to get nice grill lines.

                              I have also grilled string beans. Again olive oil and garlic powder (we love garlic). the trick to string beans on the grill is not letting them fall through the grates - keep them perpendicular to the grates! (I haven't tried one of those vegetable grill baskets in some catalogs). I've gotten good and only lose a few each time. Also, I use a charcoal grill with cast iron grills that are wider than the weber grills.

                              Good Luck!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: aeros
                                Emme Jun 20, 2007 11:55 PM

                                Grilled eggplant is fantastic just coated with garlic salt. I do the same with mushrooms, asparagus, roma tomatoes, Vidalia or Mayan onions, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, yellow squash...

                                I then chop and toss the veggies in a stir-fry with rinsed shirataki noodles, some Bragg's amino acids, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard... (For us non-veggies, I'll add roasted chicken too).

                                Add grilled pineapple, apples, bananas, and peaches to the mix as well. In season, grilled persimmons, mangoes, and papaya are great as well.

                              2. Romanmk Jun 20, 2007 11:49 AM

                                Just saw Gary Danko grill vegetables last weekend on PBS. He says the key is to grill the vegetables over medium or medium-low. If the flames are licking it makes them taste bitter. This should make it easier to juggle a grill full of vegetables too since there is less chance to overcook them. Check out details for Episode 8 to see his method for grilling artichokes. http://www.randomhouse.com/broadway/b...

                                1. b
                                  Bride of the Juggler Jun 21, 2007 05:23 AM

                                  We like to make a modified chile relleno. Grill poblano peppers with the centers cut out. When just about done, stick some cheese in the middle with tongs. Grill till melted. Serve on flour tortillas warmed on the grill. They are really yummy and make a good vegetarian main course. Thank you.

                                  1. j
                                    Jimbosox04 Jun 21, 2007 05:31 AM

                                    Buy yourself one of those nice little grill woks.....here is what I do...get a bag of the small gourmet red potatoes, quarter them and put them in about a 1/2 bottle of italian dressing to marinate, let the sit for about an hour in the marinate...put the grill on low to medium the most. prepare about 2 red onion into good bite sized peices, also about 4 bell peppers, 1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow and 1 green .... sometimes I also do mushrooms, pour the rest of the Italian dressing over these in a seperate bowl. Cook the potatoes in the wok about 30 minutes turning about every 4 or 5 minutes. After the 1/2 hour add the other veggies and keep stirring every 5 minutes or so for the next 15 THATS IT !!! YUM YUM YUM

                                    1. QueenB Jun 21, 2007 09:14 AM

                                      I absolutely love broccoli on the grill.
                                      Take a head of broccoli, cut it into long, thick stalks. Place into a ziploc bag with the juice of one lemon, a pinch of salt, healthy grind of black pepper, drizzle of olive oil and 1/2 cup of freshly grated romano or parmesan (not sure if this will go with your veggie only crowd with the cheese, but you can leave it out). Shake up all together until broccoli is coated and place on oiled grill. Cook until tender and browned.

                                      You can also do asparagus, either in a basket or skewer them. Basically take two skewers and run them through each end of 5-8 asparagus stalks. It should look like a ladder, with the asparagus as the rungs. Salt, pepper and a little lemon juice and grill until tender.

                                      Don't forget about mushrooms as well. You can marinate portobellos in italian dressing and grill them.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: QueenB
                                        gourmanda Jun 22, 2007 07:12 AM

                                        I completely forgot about grilled broccoli...yum! I usually blanch long florets, toss w/ olive oil, lemon pepper seasoning, skewer and put on the grill to get crispy and browned. So good...thanks for reminding me.

                                      2. g
                                        GAT Jun 22, 2007 07:26 AM

                                        I know you asked about veggies, but I would also grill some marinated firm tofu on skewers. It's good served with peanut sauce.

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