It is the time of the year to fire up the grill and start cooking the season’s freshest products.
A great addition to anything off of the grill is a side of tasty grilled vegetables.
You can grill almost any veggie but I like to go with what is fresh in the garden or tempting me at the produce stand.
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Step 1: Raid the Garden and the Produce Market
For todays menu we are using fresh zucchini, yellow squash, peppers in red, green and yellow, onions and mushrooms.
We occasionally will add asparagus spears and either halved cherry tomatoes or tomato wedges. These two veggies don’t need a long time to marinate so only add them for a few minutes.
The first step is to get your veggies together and get them prepared.
Step 2: Preparing the Peppers
I start with the peppers and cut off the tops. I cut them in half next and remove the seeds and the ribs. Depending on the size of the pepper will determine it I cut each half into 3 or four pieces.
Step 3: Attack the Zucchini
I next move onto the zucchini and summer squash. I cut off the tip and the stem ends. I then cut it length-wise in about ¼ to ½ inch slabs. If your veggies are really long you can cut them in half as well to make them more manageable.
Step 4: Onions, I'm Not Going to Cry
I cut off the top of the onion and them peel back the outer skin. I remove the roots but leave a portion still in place. This will help hold the onion together while marinating and grilling. Like the peppers, the size of the pieces is determined by the size of the veggie. I usually cut my onions in either 6 or eight pieces.
Step 5: Everything Goes Into the Bag
I like to remove the stems on my mushroom and marinate the caps whole.
As I am preparing the vegetables I am adding the pieces to a gallon size zipper bag. This is where I add the marinate and mix everything together.
Step 6: A Little of This and a Touch of That
I make my own marinate that can easily be modified to cover anyone’s palate.
I start my marinate off with ½ cup of oil, I like a good quality olive oil but any oil that you like the taste of can be used. I mix ½ cup of vinegar to this. I use a 2/3 to 1/3 mixed of white vinegar to balsamic vinegar. This is a taste issue and something I have come up with after trial and error to find something we like.
I like to spice up my mix with a combination of 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, I teaspoon Italian seasonings, 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper and a good pinch of hot pepper flakes.
You can add some chopped garlic or some HOT chopped peppers, depending on your crew.
Step 7: Mix It All Together
I whisk this all together and then pour it in my bag of veggies.
NOTE: If you didn't want to make your own marinate you can use 1 cup of NON-CREAMYsalad dressing instead.
You will seal the zipper on the bag and mix and roll everything together to coat and distribute the marinate.
I put this in the refrigerator for at least and hour before cooking. I make sure to place the zipper bag in a bowl. You never know when you will spring a leak and in our house, a clean refrigerator makes a happy home.
Step 8: Bring on the Heat
When you get ready to grill you need to take out what you are going to eat for the meal, the bag you see is enough for the two of us to eat on all week long. The flavor intensifies the longer the veggies sit in the marinate. I usually fix enough veggies to last the week.
The larger pieces, the peppers, the squash and zucchini can go right on the grill. The smaller pieces, the onions and mushrooms go on a little foil tray made out of a piece of aluminum foil.
You will grills these for a between 12 to 16 minutes. Some veggies get done quicker than others. We grill the peppers with the skin side down and the zucchini and squash are grilled on both sides.
These make a great addition to any meal and have become a season favor at my home. Served up next to grilled corn on the cob, a nice steak and some fresh cantaloupe, this is just down home good!
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