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Garden to Grill


Move over, “farm to table” – this month, we’re going from “garden to grill.” Grilling magically brings out toasty, caramelized flavors that many other cooking methods don’t; and almost any vegetable can be grilled with minimal effort. Even veggies you don’t like can suddenly taste fabulous to you, once grilled.

Plus, it’s an easy way to add fresh vegetables to almost any meal. Fresh produce is readily available this time of year — here are some quick tips for adding fruits and veggies to your next grilling menu.

For Veggies

  • Many vegetables do well on the grill, but there are some that really stand out — asparagus, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers (hot or mild), onions, beets, even cabbage.
  • Oil veggies lightly to prevent sticking
  • For denser veggies, either start on high heat then move to lower heat to finish, or partially pre-cook before grilling
  • Use skewers or a grill basket for smaller pieces
  • Cut round veggies like onions or eggplant into rounds for more surface area and quicker grilling (and to keep them from falling through the grates)

For Fruits

  • Many fruits are great for grilling, whether for sweet or savory purposes (think fruit salsa). Some to try:  Peaches, melons, pineapple, pears, avocado, tomatoes, bananas, figs, berries (on skewers) or even watermelon.
  • Choose ripe, but not too ripe
  • Try to cut into larger pieces for easier grilling; for smaller pieces use skewers or a basket to prevent falling through
  • If brushing with oil, use an oil with less flavor (safflower vs. olive) or try melted butter. OR dust the fruit lightly with granulated sugar instead – it protects the surface from sticking and creates extra caramelization
  • Once it’s on the grill, leave it alone! Fruit needs at least a few minutes to sear so that it won’t stick to the grill when you try to turn it.

Here are some great resources (many with delicious recipes to try)