Grilled Summer Vegetables

June 7, 2013

When we think of grilling, we are usually focusing on the meat but the high heat and charcoal do something magical to vegetables as well.  This recipe for grilled vegetables from Memorie di Angelina is simple and delicious.  There is no fancy marinade or exotic spice, just the pure flavor of the vegetable with a little fire.  For this dish, cook whatever seasonal vegetables are available at your local farmer's market.  At the peak of their season they have the best flavor (and are cheaper too).

Grilled Summer Vegetables


Asparagus spears
Small carrots
Baby zucchini or regular zucchini
Before grilling, rinse, trim, cut up, and precook vegetables as directed in "Preparations and Timings for Grilled Vegetables". To precook any one vegetable, in a saucepan bring a small amount of water to boiling; add desired vegetable and simmer, covered, for the time specified. Drain well.
To grill, brush vegetables with olive oil before grilling to prevent sticking to grill rack. Cook vegetables on the grill rack directly over medium-hot coals until tender and slightly charred, turning occasionally. Use the following timings as a guide. (Actual timings will differ depending on thickness of vegetables, how hot the coals are, and how far the vegetables are form the coals.)
Preparation and Timings for Grilled Vegetables:
Asparagus: Snap off and discard tough bases and stems. Precook 2 minutes, then tie asparagus in bundles of 3 or 4 spears with strips of cooked green onion tops. Grill bundles 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are of desired doneness.
Small carrots: Cut off carrot tops; wash and peel. Precook 3 minutes. Grill 3 to 5 minutes.
Eggplant: Cut off top and blossom ends. Cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Do not precook. Grill 6 to 8 minutes.
Fennel: Snip off feathery leaves. Cut off stems. Precook whole bulbs 8 minutes. Cut bulbs into 6 to 8 wedges and grill 8 to 10 minutes.
Sweet Peppers: Remove stems. Quarter peppers and remove seeds with membranes. Cut peppers into 1-inch-wide strips. Do not precook. Grill 8 to 10 minutes.
Leeks: Cut off green tops; trim bulb roots and remove 1 or 2 layers of white skin. Precook 6 to 10 minutes, then halve leeks lengthwise and grill 5 minutes or until tender.
New Potatoes: Halve potatoes. Precook 10 minutes or until almost tender. Grill 10 to 12 minutes.
Yellow squash (crockneck or straightneck) or zucchini: Wash; cut off ends. Cut each vegetable lengthwise into strips. Do not precook. Grill 6 to 8 minutes.
Comments: It seems that these days no cookout is complete without grilled vegetables. Serve them as a side dish for grilled fish or meat, or as an appetizer.

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