Now that the garden is in full swing, it is time to make one of our favorite side dishes of all time – Grilled Vegetables.
Throughout the summer we use our gas grill almost on a daily basis.
We find every possible reason not to heat up the house by using the stove and oven during the hottest months of the year.
However, as easy as it is to use the grill for our main dish, it is more challenging to find ideas for grilled side dishes.
We love to make grilled corn on the cob. It is super easy to make and comes out perfect every time.
In fact, you don’t even have to husk the corn! Just soak it in water and place the corn, husk and all, directly on the grill.
But, there is only so much corn on the cob that you can eat during the week.
So we had to come up with other side dish ideas that could also be made on the grill.
That is when we decided to make full use of our garden vegetables to make a grilled vegetable side dish.
We cut up large chunks of zucchini, green peppers, onions, and fresh picked asparagus spears and placed them directly on the grill.
As they cooked, they smelled delicious! However, the grilling process didn’t go as smoothly as we had anticipated.
As they began to char, we knew that it was time to flip them over.
Easier said then done! Some of the vegetables stuck to the grill and literally had to be pulled off in a mushy mess.
And several of the veggies wilted so much that they just slid down between the grates of the grill and into the fire.
So we went to plan B.
We knew that we would have to put the vegetables in a pan in order for them to cook properly.
So we decided to use a cast iron skillet. Although the skillet did an excellent job of cooking the vegetables, the handle proved to be a little bit of a problem.
We weren’t able to shut the lid of the grill to cook the adjacent meat properly.
That is when we knew that we needed to find a grill pan that had no handle.
Fortunately, we found the perfect grill pan on our trip to the grocery store.
In the seasonal aisle there was an end cap that displayed various grilling accessories.
They had everything from tongs, spatulas, fish baskets and more!
But what caught my eye was a grill pan that was filled with tiny holes. Best of all, it had a removable handle that allowed you to close the lid when grilling!
Click HERE (affiliate link) to see the kind of pan that we purchased. It was the perfect pan to make grilled vegetables!
Types of Vegetables To Use
So what vegetables are best for grilling? The answer is simple. Almost all of them!
However, you can’t put all the veggies in the grill pan at once. If you did, some of the veggies would be under cooked and others would be over cooked.
The timing all depends on the types of vegetables that you are grilling.
For example, cauliflower and carrots will take much longer to become tender than cherry tomatoes.
It also depends on the size of your veggies. If you cut them into thin slices, they are going to cook much quicker than if you kept them in big chunks.
The key is to cut them in uniform pieces so that they cook evenly.
Add your veggies that take longer to cook into the pan first. Then add those veggies that just need to heat through, such as sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes, once the other veggies are just fork tender.
What you will end up with is a delicious and healthy side dish that was made on the grill!
Mary and Jim
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- 1 medium zucchini – cut lengthwise then sliced
- 1 medium onion sliced in 8 sections
- 1 cup carrots chunked
- 1 cup cauliflower heads
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 handful sugar snap peas
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
Preheat grill on Medium to reach approximately 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl add the zucchini, onion, carrots, and cauliflower.
Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and toss to coat. Set aside.
In a large grill pan, add the vegetables. Cook for approximately 8 minutes, turning frequently.
Add in the sugar snap peas and tomatoes and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.
Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms