Grilling Your Garden: Thirteen Tips For Perfect Grilled Fruits and Vegetables

For good nutrition to go along with that great outdoor flavor, look no further than your own garden or green grocer. Grilling is an ideal way to cook fruits and vegetables because there is minimal loss of nutrients.

You don’t need a green thumb to grill perfect produce – here are a few helpful hints.

Start fresh

Choose fruits and vegetables that are ripe and ready to eat. Under-ripe or overly mature produce won’t work on the grill.

Wash just before using For the freshest possible produce, it is best to refrigerate fruits and vegetables unwashed. But be sure to wash and pat dry before grilling.

Smaller is better

Cut fruits and vegetables into small bite-sized pieces. This will help to reduce cooking time and ensure the proper level of doneness.

Take their temperature

For the best results, bring fruits and vegetables to room temperature before grilling.

Add a splash of oil Brush fruits and vegetables (except corn) lightly with oil, melted butter or your favorite marinade or oil-based dressing for added flavor and to help prevent sticking.

For the sweet tooth

Add brown sugar to melted butter, brush over fruits and season with cinnamon or ginger while grilling. To prevent sugar from burning, brush on close to end of grilling time.

It’s hot on the grill

Allow the grill rack to get hot before adding your fruits and vegetables. This will help seal in the natural juices without drying it out.

Use medium coals

To avoid burning, grill fruits and vegetables above a lightly dispersed bed of medium coals. Medium describes coals that glow through a layer of gray ash. To test for medium heat, you should be able to hold your hand over the grill for only four to five seconds.

Think fruits and veggies first

Because they taste best served closest to room tIperature, grill fruits and veggies before grilling meat. This will allow time for the fruits and vegetables to cool so you can serve thI alongside hot meats.

Flawless corn on the cob

For perfect corn on the cob, immerse the ears of corn (still in husk) in cold water for one to two hours prior to grilling. Then grill — it’s not necessary to rIove silks — over direct heat until husks are charred (about 15-20 minutes), turning occasionally. The moisture in the corn turns to steam when heated and cooks the corn without burning.Remember r to wear heavy rubber gloves when peeling off the hot husks and silks.

Foiled again!

For a steamed effect, wrap vegetables in foil before grilling. Add a touch of butter, juices and herbs or your favorite dressing or marinade and you’ve got a great side dish. Husked and de-silked corn on the cob can be prepared this way.