Grilling is the new fresh

We are in a new season – of fresh produce!  What are some fun ways you prepare your veggies?

In our house, we enjoy a treat of grilling the vegetables we have on hand.  The boys’ response to these dishes is mixed – the older two now will try them without issue.  And, sometimes, take seconds.  Our youngest, approaching 5 years, still is trying to take that first taste.

Why do we grill our vegetables? After all year of steaming, sautéing, or eating the vegetables raw, it is fun to take the time and grill.  We enjoy cooking outside and the different flavors and textures that come about through grilling.

How do we grill our vegetables? In the beginning, we didn’t own a grilling basket.  Now, we own two baskets!  All it takes is some added olive oil and seasoning.  Use herbs, or salt and pepper work just fine, too.  First, wash and cut the vegetable (larger pieces if not using a basket and small to medium pieces if using a basket).  Turn the grill on low to medium heat.  We grill our vegetables after the meat (while the meat is sitting and soaking up its juices).

If not using a grilling basket: In a bowl, mix olive oil over the cut vegetables.  Sprinkle herbs, salt and/or pepper over vegetables.  Place on the grill.  (You may lose one or two through the grate!) Grill, turning every couple of minutes to each side.  They are done per your like!

If using a grilling basket: Spray the basket with non-stick cooking spray before placing on the grill. Add the vegetables (when using the basket, I cut the vegetables small to medium sized to cook faster), brush on olive oil and seasonings (or apply in a bowl prior).  Stir vegetables while cooking.  They are done per your like!

Alternative method:  Wrap the oil and seasoned-covered vegetables in foil. Place on the grill for up to 20 minutes.  This is more of a steamed method and will not have the charred effect on the vegetables.

How can my child help? Allow your child to participate in the choice of vegetables. Encourage the younger child to assist with washing and snapping of vegetables (i.e. asparagus). Teach the older child how to cut the vegetables with your supervision. Children can easily place vegetables in the foil and find fun closing the foil.  Vegetables can usually be prepped hours in advance of meal time.

The seasonings we often use in our house include fresh garlic, fresh rosemary, garlic salt and plain salt and pepper.  There is no right or wrong way to grill vegetables. How do you enjoy your grilled veggies?

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