Think Your Grill Only Cooks Meat? Think Again
(NAPSA) - Move over burgers and brats. More people are making space on their outdoor grill for vegetables these days.
In fact, according to the 19th Annual Weber GrillWatch Survey, 70 percent of American grill owners said they grilled vegetables in the past year, and 38 percent of grillers report they are grilling more vegetables than last year.
With grillers increasingly looking for new ways to eat healthier fare, renowned grilling expert Chef Jamie Purviance, author of the best-selling 'Weber's Real Grilling: Over 200 Original Recipes' cookbook, serves up his top five tips for grilling vegetables to perfection.
Think Globally, Buy Locally
'The vegetables that you buy locally and in season are richer in nutrients and flavors than the ones shipped from thousands of miles away,' said Purviance. 'Plus, they cost less.'
Making the Cut
Cut vegetables in ways that expose as much surface area as possible to the hot grate. The more direct contact the vegetable has with the grill, the better the flavors will be. Season to taste, brush lightly with oil, and then let the flavors of the grill penetrate the surfaces.
Go Ahead, Use the Good Oil
Vegetables need oil to prevent sticking and burning. Neutral oils, like canola oil, will do the job, but an extra virgin olive oil provides the added benefit of improving the flavor of virtually every vegetable. Brush on just enough oil to coat each side thoroughly, but not so much that the vegetable would drip oil and cause flare-ups. Season the vegetables generously with salt and pepper. 'For more flavors, I recommend marinating the vegetables at room temperature for 20 minutes to an hour in olive oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs and spices,' said Purviance.
Baste for More Taste
Vegetables contain a lot of water that evaporates quickly on a hot grill. That's good for the flavor because as the water evaporates, real vegetable flavors get more intense. But some vegetables, especially mushrooms, are prone to shrinking and drying out when they lose water, so if they start to wrinkle, brush them with a little oil.
Stay in the Zone
Just about everything from asparagus to zucchini tends to cook best over direct medium heat, which is 350 to 450 degrees on the lid's thermometer. 'While grilling, turn them as few times as possible and only when the exposed surfaces have nice grill marks,' advises Purviance.
Fire-roasted corn on the cob will 'wow' friends and family.