Grilling vegetables is a simple, delicious way to enjoy their fresh flavors, and preparing them couldn’t be easier: Simply toss veggies in a little oil and salt (plus fresh herbs, if desired) before grilling over medium-high heat. Prepare them as skewered shish kebabs, in a grill basket or foil packets, or place them directly on the grill.
Easy Grilled Vegetables
If you’re grilling a variety of veggies, start with those that take longest to cook, then add others as you go along. Remember to watch carefully and turn often. Veggies are done when they can be pierced easily with a fork, but you can use the instructions and cooking times below for perfectly grilled garden goodness.
Corn: 30 minutes Pull back husks and remove silk, then fold husks back into place. Soak ears in water for 15 minutes before grilling, or grill shucked corn, which doesn’t need to be soaked, for about 20 minutes. Try slathering ears with butter, garlic, lime juice, cilantro and cumin before grilling. Or serve grilled corn rolled in crumbled queso fresco cheese, lime juice and cayenne pepper.
Eggplant: 25 minutes Cut into thick slices and grill over medium heat.
Potatoes: 15 minutes Slice potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick pieces, or leave small ones whole. Parboil potatoes for a couple of minutes and drain before coating them in oil and grilling. Potatoes also grill beautifully when coated in mayonnaise and mustard.
Green Beans: 10 minutes Snap off ends and grill whole over medium heat.
Squash/Zucchini: 10 minutes Cut into large chunks and grill over medium heat.
Peppers: 20 minutes Cut large peppers into halves or quarters and remove seeds. Smaller peppers can be grilled whole.
Romaine Lettuce: 5 to 10 minutes Cook whole heads until slightly charred on the outside but not heated entirely through.
Garlic: 30 minutes Leave whole head intact and slice off the top 1/4 inch, barely exposing most of the cloves. Set on a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil or stock, then cinch the foil packet and grill over indirect heat. When finished, the individual cloves should squeeze out of their skins easily. Grilled garlic is wonderful smeared on grilled bread.
Endive: 5 to 10 minutes Slice in half lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil. Grill until charred on the outside.
Tomatoes: 5 minutes Cut into chunks, or leave whole and double grilling time.
Onions: 25 minutes Cut into quarters and grill over medium heat.
Sweetly Grilled Fruit
When fires upward of 300 degrees tickle the skin of fresh fruit, a wonderful thing begins to happen: Attractive amino acids pull sugar compounds into a fiery dance that leaves the fruit deliciously browned. This sticky-sweet caramelization opens up entirely new realms of possible flavors and aromas, each unique to the fruit in question. Although almost any fruit is a good candidate for cooking over an open fire, the most juicy fruits such as peaches, pineapples, plums and mangoes are the best candidates. Their juices are complemented perfectly by fruit woods such as apple, cherry, peach and pear.