Burgers, hot dogs and other meats are grilling staples, but if you haven’t tried grilling fruits and vegetables yet you’re missing out! Those smoky charred flavours that we love so much are just as good (if not better) on seasonal produce.
Why You Should Consider Grilling Fruits and Veggies
The high heat of the grill caramelizes the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables, bringing out rich sweet flavours that are hard to replicate through other cooking methods.
How to Select Which Fruits and Vegetables to Grill
There really isn’t any type of produce that won’t benefit from being grilled! However, it’s important to note that some things will take less time to grill than others.
For example, romaine lettuce only needs to be grilled for a minute of two per side, while sweet potatoes need about 15 minutes of cooking time.
All fruits and vegetables need to be brushed lightly with a neutral-flavoured oil before grilling, as this prevents sticking. Some people prefer to oil their grill, which also works.
Vegetables should be seasoned with salt and pepper, while fruits can benefit from a light sprinkling of sugar or a tiny pinch of salt.
You might need to use a grill basket or foil packet if the produce you’re grilling is small enough to fall through the grate of your barbecue pit.
You can also thread the produce onto wooden skewers for easy grilling, just be sure to soak the skewers in water first to prevent them from igniting.
Grill your fruits and vegetables over medium heat until they are cooked to your desired level. Most produce is best when lightly browned and tender-crisp, however the cooking time does range depending on the density of the item.
- Dense vegetables like artichokes, broccoli, squash and root vegetables can be steamed or blanched until barely tender before grilling. This ensures that the inside is evenly cooked, and helps to reduce the grilling time.
- Soft vegetables like mushrooms or eggplant should not be steamed or blanched before grilling. These vegetables absorb moisture like a sponge, which will ruin the texture of them when grilled.
- Avoid grilling overripe fruits as they can be too soft to grill properly. Firm, barely ripe fruit holds up much better over the high heat of the grill.
- Rotate or flip fresh produce while grilling to ensure even cooking
Grilling Ideas to Get You Started
Make a fancy appetizer for your next backyard barbecue by pairing grilled persimmon with Manchego cheese.
Put a spin on a classic steak salad by adding grilled purple potatoes.
For a light and healthy lunch, add Balsamic honey grilled figs to your quinoa bowl.
For dessert, grilled Ontario peaches with mascarpone cheese are a real treat!
For even more grilling ideas, check out our collection of recipes for your backyard barbecue.