Vegetable grilling tips

Seven tips to grilling vegetables for an attractive addition to your summer meals.

Skewering vegetables is a great way to enjoy a variety of grilled vegetables. | MSU Extension

Skewering vegetables is a great way to enjoy a variety of grilled vegetables. | MSU Extension

Grilling takes practice to become better. For some, grilling comes naturally, but not to others, like me – not so much. Michigan State University Extension suggests the following seven tips when grilling vegetables.

  1. Grill vegetables on medium heat to keep them from browning too quickly.
  2. Most vegetables precut into half-inch slices will cook in six to 10 minutes on the grill over medium heat. Whole potatoes may take 45 minutes over medium heat, depending on their size.
  3. When skewering vegetables, run two skewers side by side through vegetables so they won’t spin.
  4. A very light coating of olive oil is great for flavor and to keep the veggies from burning on the grill, but don’t toss them with too much oil because this can cause flare-ups and charring. This is one time when less is more.
  5. A spray mister leaves a nice light coat of oil on vegetables. If you decide to spray them lightly, do so before you put them on the grill. They won’t dry out this way.
  6. Rotate vegetables a quarter of a turn to create cross-hatched grill marks. Moving them around also prevents them from burning.
  7. Try wrapping some of your favorite vegetables in foil before putting them on the grill. Add a drizzle of oil or a pat of butter and some of your favorite seasoning before foil wrapping.

For a special treat, roast garlic for a delicious side dish. Here’s how:

  • Remove loose, papery thin skin from the garlic.
  • Cut about a half-inch off the top to expose the cloves.
  • Place the cloves on an eight-inch square of heavy duty aluminum foil and then brush or spray olive oil over the top of the cloves.
  • Fold up the foil and seal, leaving room for some expansion
  • Grill on medium heat for about 30-40 minutes

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Regardless of why you grill, whether you do it seasonally or year-round, make sure that you follow good food safety practices:

  1. Wash your hands before preparing the vegetables.
  2. Rinse the vegetables under slightly warm running water.
  3. Dry the vegetables softly with a paper towel.
  4. If you cut the vegetables before you are going to grill them, store them in the refrigerator until it is time to grill.
  5. Make sure your grilling surface is clean.

Grilling can be healthy because often there is less fat involved in the cooking process. Grilling also keeps the heat out of the kitchen and gives a different flavor of foods than we have the rest of the year, except of course for those who enjoy grilling year-round.

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