I love veggies, as long as they are cooked. If they are grilled, even better. I started grilling veggies a few years back. I just sliced and grilled. Except for loosing a significant number of veggies through the grill, they worked out great. I grilled carrots, zucchini, asparagus, onions and sweet potatoes. Now I am working on fancier grilled veggies; a little marinade, a little glaze, grill marks…
Last week I received an email, “Top Ten Recipes of June 2011”. This email came from Taste of Home magazine. I am not a huge fan of Taste of Home, too many of their recipes start out with a mix, but I am a sucker for Top Ten lists. So I opened the email. The picture of the Grilled Vegetable Platter looked good, the recipe had five stars out of five stars with twelve reviews, so I clicked away. The recipe sounded good and looked simple enough, so I tested it…, winner, Winner, WINNER!
Don’t feel like you have to stick to the veggie combo listed. Grill what you have and what you like. I left out all the bell peppers. I. don’t. like. bell. peppers. I didn’t add in any mushrooms because I just posted that fabulous recipe for Grilled Portobellos. Taste of Home reviewers also reported adding green beans, snow peas, sweet potato rounds, and halved cherry tomatoes into the mix.
My change to the Taste of Home recipe is to make two marinade mixtures. Use one to marinate the veggies in prior to grilling (and then discard that marinade with the Ziploc bag), and then use the second one to drizzle over the veggies after grilling, the second marinade is just slightly different from the first. I also substituted freshly minced garlic for the garlic powder in the first marinade.
Now for my number one tip on grilled veggies… Grill the veggies first, before the meat or the fish. Veggies are grill hogs, taking up an entire grill, and some of them take a surprisingly long time to grill, onions especially. The asparagus will cook most quickly, then the squash, then the carrots, and the onion will probably still be cooking when you start in on the meat. Just remove each veggie when done and, when your veggie platter is mostly complete, drizzle with the second marinade, and place the whole platter in a warm oven. Another reason for cooking the veggies first? You can be in the middle of cooking them when your guests arrive, and I haven’t met a guest yet who is not impressed by a grill covered in marinated mixed veggies, some with nice char marks!
Grilled Vegetable Platter
For the pre-grilling marinade
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For the post-grilling drizzle
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil (this is the time to use your best tasting/most expensive olive oil)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/2 Tablespoon (which is equivalent to 1 1/2 teaspoons) Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Veggie Mix (mix it up to suit what you have on hand, what you like to eat, and how many people you are serving…keeping in mind grilled veggies make great leftovers and are almost as good eaten at room temperature as they are when they are eaten fresh from the grill)
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 3 small carrots, cut in half lengthwise
- 3 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 large sweet red, yellow, or green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
- 2 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 sweet potato (I prefer Garnet Yams), peeled and cut into slices
- 1 medium red onion, cut into four wedges (I used a sweet Vidalia onion)
- other possible add ins or substitutions: mushrooms, halved tomatoes, green beans, snow peas…
- Combine the olive oil, honey, Balsamic vinegar, oregano and minced garlic or garlic powder for the marinade. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag; add the vegetables. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours.
- Combine the ingredients for the drizzle; cover and set aside.
- Place vegetables on a grilling grid (I don’t do this…I place the veggies directly on the grill, and loose a fair number of asparagus spears, skinny carrots and zucchini). Grill, covered, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes (adjust for each veggie) on each side or until crisp-tender. Note: The onion wedges will probably fall apart. That’s OK. Just grill the slices (the slices that don’t fall through the grill, that is). As soon as each slice is nicely brown and feels soft, transfer to platter and drizzle with some of the second marinade mixture.
- Transfer to a large serving platter. Drizzle with the second “marinade” mixture.
- Serve, or if desired, place in warm oven (250 degrees) to stay warm until needed
So now you know what you will be grilling, what should you have for dessert? S’mores (or S’mores Bars?), Frozen Bananas (always fun), or my personal favorites, Fresh Blueberry Pie or a Mixed Berry Pie?? Have some fun and search my recipes!
Outdoor grilling rocks! Hope you are enjoying both cooking and dining outside. Next up, grilled artichokes! Thanks for stopping by my kitchen again today. I love it when you pop in!