Before fire was discovered, early humans hunted animals and gathered fruits as primary food sources.
At present, grilling or cooking food over a fire is one of the most basic and enjoyable ways of cooking. Fire up your BBQ and add any food you want to cook. There’s no better way to appreciate good food than by doing some grilling in your backyard, with your cold drinks in the cooler surrounded by your friends or family. Grilling is not just for slabs of meat or pounds of fish, there’s still room for vegetables and fruits. Grilling provides a smoky and delicious twist to any seasonal produce. Peaches, pineapples, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchinis, cucumber and other vegetables and fruits will add colour and a healthy option to your grilled favourites. It’s also a great way to make your vegetarian friends happy. Vegetables and fruits also pair nicely with seasonal wines and beer.
Fruits + Vegetables + Grill = Delicious Fun
Grilling fruits and vegetables is not hard. You just need to have a clean grill, thoroughly washed fruits and vegetables and you can do whatever you want with them. You can cook them right off the grill or you can use sticks or a grilling pan. Vegetables will cook better if brushed with quality oil and sprinkled with fresh herbs. The natural sugars of fruits will be more pronounced when grilled because they will be caramelised with an added smoky flavour. Who wouldn’t want that, right? Below are some fruits and vegetables that you can grill at your next barbecue.
Eggplants are versatile and every eggplant growing nation have made some eggplant grilling for decades. When grilled, the outer skin becomes crispy and the insides creamy. You can cut them crosswise or lengthwise and coat them with some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and cook for 6 minutes or until the eggplant is tender. You can dip it in marinara sauce or malt vinegar or blue cheese. The possibilities are endless.
Fresh peaches are good, canned peaches are great desserts, but grilled peaches are heavenly. One great thing about grilled peaches are when you take a bite, you will get a chutney-like texture which can compliment grilled chicken or steak. If you have a sweet tooth, you can grill peaches and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Who would have thought that that grilling a watermelon is such a delicious experience? There’s only a few people who like their watermelons grilled, but trust those people, they did one good thing into another wonderful experience. You can add honey and some lemon juice to make more exciting or you can make a salad by mixing arugula and some balsamic dressing. Just remember, watermelon cooks fast and it’s better to cook them using indirect heat.
4. Green Beans
They are wonderful when grilled, but will slide down or slip through the grill. The solution? Go get a grill basket. You can cook these slender vegetables without losing or burning one of them. After cooking, just toss them in a bowl, sprinkle some extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of butter to make everything nice and tasty.
Cut them in half, drizzle them with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle some brown sugar after grilling. It’s just like taking a bite of heaven.
Grilling pineapple reduces its sourness or acidity, but enhances its sweetness because the fruit is caramelized and its natural sugar adds to its sweetness. It’s just like eating hot, fruity candy. You can cut them into circles or wedges and place them on the grill for 3 minutes on each side. If you want it to be sweeter, add a few drops of honey after grilling.
Steamed or blanched asparagus is good, but grilling adds more punch to it. Lightly char the asparagus over the grill, toss them in a bowl after and add some extra virgin olive, a bit of chilli flakes, salt and pepper to add more taste to it.
Want to make some smoky guacamole? Cut the avocados in half and grill them for 2 minutes on each side. Follow your favourite guacamole recipe and enjoy it with your preferred chips.
The humble apple can be grilled too. Apples when cook becomes more delicious when cooked and becomes even more delicious when grilled because the heat sweetens and soften the fruit. Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar before removing the apples from the grill and you’re all set.
10. Bell Peppers
You can grill them whole, cut in half or chunks. Roasted red and green peppers are good in salads or in an antipasto platter. You can also sprinkle them with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and make a sloppy roasted pepper sandwich.
You can pull the husk out and grill with butter and salt. Grill it for about 5-7 minutes. A bit of char will add to its smoky flavour as compared to leaving the husk when grilling.
Bananas are not just for smoothies as sides for your ice cream. Bananas are good, especially when warm, soft and caramelized. Sprinkle them with cinnamon and rum syrup, surely you will forget your name after eating it.
Smoky salsa or a smoky tomato sauce or a smoky side for your shawarma or kebab? Slice the tomatoes in half, grill them with a bit of olive for about 3 minutes on each side and you’re done.
14. Chilli Peppers
Dynamite with lots of cheese and beef or add them to your smoky salsa with roasted tomatoes. This is a hit.
15. Zucchini and Squash
Cut these vegetables into thin slices and coat them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill them for 1 minute and you will have a delectable treat.
16. Portobello Mushrooms
You can use these big and round mushrooms as a substitute for your ground beef patty. Portobellos have a meaty consistency which will be better if you brush it with olive oil and cook them for 7 minutes on each side.
Now, just go to your regular farmer’s market or grocery and scout for any fruits or vegetables that are in season, fire up the grill and start cooking!