Can you smell that? The charcoal burning and food grilling. There is no greater scent than a BBQ lighting up in the middle of summer. Especially after the winter we’ve all been through, we need nothing more than a big family get-together with plenty of food, drink and sunshine.
When you picture a BBQ, what’s the first thing you think of? Probably a big juicy burger, or grilled chicken kebabs, am I right? BBQs and meat go together better than any other combination I know, that’s because it tastes so goddamn good. But you’re forgetting about another very important food group, vegetables. Although they aren’t the first thing that pop to mind when you picture a BBQ, there are plenty of vegetables that can be cooked to perfection when grilled.
Some of the best include:
- Corn on the cob
- Red peppers
- Portobello mushrooms
So, you’ve been to the supermarket, you’ve got your vegetables and you’re lighting up the BBQ, what’s next? Do you just throw the vegetables straight onto it? Absolutely not. You wouldn’t cook a piece of meat without careful consideration and marination, and the same goes for your vegetables.
Keep it chunky
The first thing you need to consider is the thickness of your vegetables. You don’t want them slipping between the grill as they’re cooking or you’ll end up with an extremely charred, and not very tasty dish. This means you need to make sure you’re cutting your vegetables nice and thick. For the corn, mushroom and asparagus, you don’t need to cut them, however, keep the pepper in halves or quarters. Half your tomatoes and either cut your courgette into large horizontal chunks, or thick vertical strips.
Another thing to be aware of is the consistency of your cutting. You want the vegetables to cook at the same time, so make sure you evenly slice.
Again, you want to think of your vegetable as a piece of meat (unless you’re plant-based in which case you probably don’t). Therefore, it is wise to oil the vegetables and not the BBQ grill. Ensuring the vegetables are evenly coated with oil means that you won’t find the remnants of leftover courgette stuck to your grill when you try ripping it away.
If the product is good enough, then it doesn’t need much seasoning. That’s why it’s always best to buy vegetables that are in season, so you get the best flavour out of them. What’s the best way to season a vegetable? Good old salt and pepper. You can’t go wrong. The trick is to buy good quality ingredients. Don’t you dare pour table salt over the food. Instead opt for a chunkier variety such as sea salt. Not only will it bring out an incredible flavour in your vegetables, the coarse texture balances well with the softness of the grilled vegetable.
Close your lid
Keeping the lid closed on a BBQ is essential when you’re cooking thicker cuts. The head gets trapped, creating a similar environment to that of an oven, when this happens it means the food cooks evenly. Let’s say you’ve opted for chunky cuts of courgette, you don’t want the outside to be charred whilst the inside is still cold, so get that lid closed and cook your vegetables properly.
I’m not telling you to stop cooking meat on the BBQ, it’s delicious. But, what I am saying is why not be a little more adventurous with your grilling. Next time you light the BBQ up, make sure you’ve got some vegetable kebabs on the go too.
Looking for chilled soups to accompany your veggie grill? Try one of these Roasted Vegetable soup recipes.