Its a common misconception that grilling is only for meats. But as the French say: Au contraire mon frere! Just about anything you can cook in the kitchen can be made in a similar fashion outside on the grill. If you’re already cooking your meat there, why not cook the rest of your meal there too!?
Vegetables are an excellent example. We cook these in our kitchen all the time: fried, boiled, baked, or broiled. With a few changes to your regular method, you can be cooking those very same veggies on the grill in no time, right next to your fish, chicken, or steak.
Take for example corn and asparagus. With minimal preparation and next to no seasoning, these veggies are some of the easiest to grill. Following are suggestions — they’re so easy I feel bad calling them recipes! — for bringing these veggies to life on your grill.
Grilled Corn On The Cob
Get four to five unhusked, sweet corn cobs; white or yellow, but sweet. Plan for about one cob per person; get more if you plan to be hungry!
Rinse the outsides of the corn and soak in cool, clean water for at least 30-60 minutes. The longer, the better; the steam from the soaked husks is part of the cooking process.
Light your grill and warm it to a medium-high heat. If you are using charcoal, that’s a count to about “three-one-thousand” with your bare hand about an inch from the grilling surface before you have to pull it away.
While your grill is warming, prepare the corn by pulling the husks part-way back — don’t remove them! — and pulling off as much of the silk as you can. While you have the husks open, you can add a light coat of butter or other seasonings if you like. I just leave mine au naturale. Close the husks back tightly.
Lay the corn on the grill. Let the corn sit for about 5-7 minutes then rotate a quarter turn, allowing each side to cook until the husk becomes browned or blackened.
Remove the corn from the grill when done and set aside; the unhusked cobs will stay piping hot for up to 30 minutes. Tell folks to handle them gently when eating them! You can peel the husks away before serving or let your guests shuck for themselves. Serve with butter, salt, and pepper. For an added twist, serve with Miracle Whip and parmesan cheese. Yum!
Get as much asparagus as you plan to cook, wash it and chop off the rough part at the bottom of the stalk. I usually serve about 7-8 stalks per person.
Rub the stalks with your favorite cooking oil. I prefer an extra virgin olive oil. Each stalk should be lightly covered from base to tip.
If your grill isn’t already hot, light and warm it to about medium or medium-high heat.
Place the stalks on the grill perpendicular to the grate. You can put down foil or use a pan designed for grilling vegetables, but personally, I’d rather nothing come between my food and the heat.
The asparagus will cook quickly so pay attention to them. Let the stalks cook for about 5-7 minutes total, rotating with tongs until all sides have been cooked. If you have a long handled spatula, another option is to place the back of the spatula on the asparagus and roll them along the grill instead of turning them individually. Make sure you don’t roll them off the grate!
Remove the stalks from the grill and serve soon, as they tend to cool off quickly. If you need to maintain heat for a few minutes, tent your serving plate with foil and set aside.
A Complete Meal…Grilled
The options for pairing grillied corn and grilled asparagus with a protein are limitless. While grilling isn’t extravagant by any means, cooking these veggies over direct heat will certainly add new flavor to meals you already enjoy.
For this meal, I paired the veggies with grilled herbed chicken breast and rice; three outta four dishes cooked on the grill!