Straight from the garden to the grill; now that's flavor, nutrition, and cooking ease that is hard to beat. Fire up the grill, pick your favorite garden vegetables, then follow my tried-and-true grilling methods and enjoy the taste and nutrition of summer vegetables.
If chemical pesticides have not been used on the vegetable plants, clean freshly picked garden vegetables by wiping them off with a damp paper towel (I'm an organic gardener). This allows the vegetable to retain the most flavor by preventing bruising. If chemicals have been used during the growing process, a more vigorous washing will be required prior to eating the veggies.
Cut bell peppers in half and remove seeds, then cut length-wise into strips. Layer pepper strips in a single layer on a medium hot grill rack and grill for 6 to 8 minutes. Toss with one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and one tablespoon of capers.
Corn On The Cob
Leave the husks in the freshly picked corn on the cob and submerged the ears of corn into cold water and let set for at least 15 minutes. Remove from water and place ears of corn (still in husks) in a single layer on a medium hot grill rack. Grill for 25 minutes, turning occasionally. If grill marks are desired on the ears of corn, remove them from heat at about 20 minutes. Remove corn husks and silk, brush ears of corn with butter and return to grill heat, searing until desired grill marks appear. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.
Cut fresh eggplant crosswise into one-fourth inch round discs and grill 4 minutes on each side over medium heat. Drizzle grilled eggplant with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with fresh mint picked from the garden and roughly chopped.
Grilled Green Beans
Garden fresh green beans retain their bright green color and crunch when grilled. Trim or snap off the bean ends place a handful on piece of heavy duty aluminum foil that is long enough to form a cooking pouch for the green beans. Season each handful of beans with a clove of chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Fold aluminum foil over beans and fold in the edges to create an airtight grilling pouch. Grill over medium heat for 8 minutes on each side.
Sweet Vidalia onions grown locally here in Georgia are a favorite grilled side dish, but any onion will suffice. Peel and slice onions into round discs about one-half inch thick. Grill 10 minutes per side then sprinkle with roasted and chopped red peppers and chopped basil leaves (preferably fresh from your garden too).
Plum tomatoes work best for grilling, but any fresh garden tomatoes can be grilled. Cut tomato in half and grill 3-5 minutes per side. Sprinkle with fresh, chopped cilantro and diced green onion.
New potatoes (red skinned potatoes) are tender and easy to grill. Slice new potatoes in half and place on a length of heavy duty foil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Fold aluminum foil to create a pouch and grill 15 minutes on each side over medium heat.
Grilled Squash (Yellow or Zucchini)
Grilling squash couldn't be simpler - cut squash into length-wise strips and grill 5 minutes per side over medium heat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and fresh orange zest.
My Own Experience