Barbecues can have a bad reputation nutrition-wise because they’re often associated with grilling steaks or other meats. However, fish and vegetables are being spotted nicely sizzling away more and more often these days. And with a growing number of people (ie your guests!) turning vegetarian it’s important to be able to serve them too.
The easiest way to grill vegetables on a barbecue is to prepare them correctly in the first place. By that we mean you should cut the vegetables into similar sized pieces so they’ll all cook evenly. As a general rule of thumb it’s best not to cut each piece more than one inch thick. It’s also a good idea to soak them in water around half an hour before you intend to cook as this prevents them from drying out and sticking to the grill. Before putting vegetables on the grill pat dry with a towel and brush with oil.
So what are the easiest vegetables to grill on a barbecue and the best methods to do it?
Corn on the cob – this is probably one of the most commonly grilled vegetables to find on a barbecue. That’s because they’re easy to cook and go extremely well with chicken. Before placing on the grill you should always pull the husks back and peel off the silky strands. Cut off the end of the cob (the hard part) then cover the yellow corn in butter. Replace the husks, tie the ends and grill for around five minutes or until hot and golden (remember to turn).
Baked Potatoes – these go excellently with the corn on the cob (above) and barbecued chicken. Before cooking, give the potatoes a good scrub. Rub them in oil and wrap them in foil. Always put these on first when cooking a barbecue feast as they can take up to 40 minutes before they’re ready.
Mushrooms – clean with a towel then brush with oil. These should be grilled for around six minutes and jiggled around so they’re evenly cooked. It’s actually better to use a grilling basket for mushrooms to keep them all together.
Peppers – cut these in half and scoop out the seeds. Again, brush with oil but this time grill for only up to three minutes each side.
Asparagus – this is a commonly cooked vegetable at barbecues, basically because it’s easy and, if done properly, can taste crunchy and delicious. Add some chilli or sesame oil to your olive oil for a different taste. You’ll know when asparagus is ready on a grill as the tips will brown first.
Aubergine – these are our favourite vegetable to grill and, like peppers, take only around three minutes each side. They should be halved and, of course, brushed in oil before placed on the grill.
Garlic – for those who don’t really care about being a tad anti-social and what their breath smells like, garlic takes around ten minutes to cook on a barbecue. They should be cooked in bulb form with the root cut off. Grill for around ten minutes. Like the asparagus tip, you’ll know when garlic is ready as the skin will start to brown first.
So there you have it – a veritable feast of grilled vegetables. In fact, with this cooking away nicely on the barbecue really – who needs meat? Plus, if you love vegetables then why not try grilling fruit on the barbecue too?