Grilling on an outdoor grill or BBQ today means way more than just meat. There is no vegetable that can’t be grilled. You just have to know how long each will take and the best way to serve once cooked.
Traditionally, we’ve all known that onions can be grilled with kebabs. But what about squash, broccoli, even romaine lettuce? Yes, you can do it. You’ll want to invest in a grill pan for the purpose (or a grilling wok). Use cooking oil suitable for high temperatures such as olive oil. Slice vegetables as bite-sized pieces and use the following as a guide:
- Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Brush the vegetables with oil to coat lightly and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over:
8 to 10 minutes for the bell peppers; 7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, carrots and mushrooms; 4 minutes for the asparagus, celery and onions. 2 for delicate vegetables like bok choy or Chinese cabbage.
- Don’t shift the vegetables around too much if using a grill because you want the leave lovely grill marks.
- Before serving, drizzle with a good balsamic vinegar or a vinaigrette dressing made for the purpose, e.g. balsamic vinegar mixed with your favourite herbs, e.g. garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary.
- Serve the vegetables warm, or stir into cooked pasta, or cool and use in sandwiches.
Grilled Romaine Lettuce
3 to 4 romaine hearts (Romaine trimmed top and bottom but with the leaves still attached and together)
Vinaigrette: 3 tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tbsp. of red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar), 2 tsp. chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano (or 1 tsp. dried mixed herbs), 1/4 tsp. salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Brush Romaine hearts with half of the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and herbs. Heat grill to medium. Grill on all sides, turning every minute or two until well browned. Slice in large chunks and serve, drizzled with the remaining vinaigrette.
Grilled Chinese Broccoli
6-8 cups Broccoli Florets
Vinaigrette: ½ cup soy sauce, 3 tbsp. sesame oil, 1 tbsp. of Asian chili sauce (add more for spicier), 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar, 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces and put in a plastic bag with the marinade. Set aside at least 4 hours.
Oil a grilling wok or pan and place on grill until hot. Add broccoli mixture when temperature reaches 600°F. Close the lid, opening to stir a few times until tender, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle top with sesame seeds and close lid for another minute to toast the seeds.
Remove and serve. Yum! (Thanks to taste of BBQ)