Burgers, baby back ribs, and brats may garner the lion’s share of attention on the grill, but how about we make room for nutrient-rich vegetables? Along with minimal prep—we’re talking some high-quality olive oil and seasonings, that’s it—grilling coaxes out the flavors of vegetables in a way that will surprise and delight your palate. Plus, grilled veggies are a great addition to salads, grain bowls, sandwiches, or on their own.
For top-of-the-line, fresh produce for your next grilling get-together, stop by ALDI, the low-cost leader with an abundance of fresh and organic produce—perfect for all your outdoor feasts. Then heat up that grill, grab a spatula, and toss the below veggies on the grates.
Take one bite of these grilled green stalks and you’ll be immediately seduced by this summertime side. Brush with , sprinkle with your favorite seasoning anyone?), and then grill asparagus directly on the grates—no foil necessary—making sure to place them perpendicularly, lest your stalks plummet into the fiery charcoal underworld. Close the lid and 6 to 10 minutes later, your asparagus will be crispy, smoky, and subtly sweet.
A re-invented carrot? After it’s spent some time on the grill, you’ll be a believer too. The texture is different (softer, and less crunchy than raw) and the flavor is emboldened, now imbued with a sweetness from the caramelization. Drizzle the immune-boosting carrots with olive oil, season with , and set them on the grill, about 5 minutes on each side, turning occasionally when black marks begin to appear.
It may be the go-to veg for keto-diet enthusiasts (and the people who love them), and for good reason. But health benefits aside, the ivory clusters just get better on the grill. Our recommendation: serve them in steak form. Simply cut a head of cauliflower vertically into 1” to 1 ½”-thick slices. Place on the grill, brush the top side with an olive oil/lemon mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 5 minutes before flipping and doing it all over again on the other side.
“The heat of the grill enhances the inherent sweetness of cherry tomatoes,” says cookbook author and registered dietitian Matthew Kadey. “These mini flavor bombs supply the body with some of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to a range of health benefits.” He recommends skewering the tiny orbs, kebab-style, and leaving them on the grill until blistered, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
When the days grow long and the temperature rises, the craving for grilled corn on the cob becomes irresistible. You’ll want to soak the shucked corn in cold salt water for a minute or two—it gives the kernels moisture and prevents too much charring—dry them thoroughly and then brush with a garlicky melted butter. (Pro tip: if you don’t have fresh garlic, you can substitute with Stonemill Garlic Powder.) Place on the grill for 10 minutes, turning occasionally. The result is a crispy, smoky, sweet and delicious shout out to summertime feasting.
This super-healthy green veg gets a bit of a bad rap, sometimes being referred to as “dull.” But put those lush trees on the grill and you can say goodbye to boring. After cutting the broccoli into florets—cut off the thick stems so that they’re about the size of a golf ball—coat them in olive oil, sprinkle in some salt, and let stand for 30 minutes. Then roll each floret around in a bowl of grated Parmesan cheese and grill directly on the grates, about 8 minutes on each side. Once on your plate (and especially your palate) this grilled broccoli might become your preferred prep for summertime and beyond.
Mushrooms are great with just about anything, but introduce them to the grill for a new spin on this tasty spore. In a bowl, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and salt and mix well. Skewer shrooms of similar sizes on pre-soaked wooden sticks and then add to the grill for about three minutes on each side.
Why grill, or even cook, for that matter, regular potatoes when you can revel in the deliciousness of sweet potatoes? The sweet nutritional upgrade to French fries, these wedges are the sweet, tender sidekick you’ll want to serve all season long. Toss some thick slices with salt and olive oil, then grill directly on the grates, 4 to 6 minutes on each side. Skip the ketchup and serve them with barbecue sauce.
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