Everyone loves a good barbecue and everything that a delicious barbecue entail. From the meat to the sauce to the sides to the drinks and everything else that you could possibly think of, barbecues are the epitome of delicious, quality food for everyone. While it is quite common to make the meat the center of attention at a barbecue (and do not get me wrong it most definitely is), sometimes one needs to send out some attention to the underdogs of the barbecue. The sidekicks that work well with the main attraction, helping to enhance the overall experience. These are known as the sides of the barbecue. The sides of a barbecue should be considered of the second utmost importance following the meat. They help to refresh your palate between bites of meat and help to enhance your appreciation of eating a wholesome barbecue. If you are stuck on some sides to include in your next planned BBQ feast than look no further for here, we are going to spend some extra attention on a specific kind of food that you most definitely should consider serving with your all-star meat. Yes, my friends, it is vegetables.
Why Choose Grilled Veggies?
Many people do not like to think of barbecues as healthy and most don’t want to equate one to being healthy because we as humans tend to categorize healthy and not-so-delicious within the same category. This is totally not the case. Grilled vegetables are the perfect example of why one should incorporate veggies when planning out their BBQ menu. Grilled veggies offer a flavor that is different yet complementary to the meat that you are serving, can serve up some nutritional value (even though it is grilled), and it tastes super amazing! You would be utterly surprised to see what a few ingredients, a nice grill, and some fresh veggies can offer. It is a quality dining experience unlike any dining experience you have ever had before! A good portion of sides that accompany a BBQ tend to be very heavy and creamy with the heavy meat and sauce, sometimes the creamy, buttery mashed potatoes, heavy macaroni and cheese, buttery biscuits and more! All super delicious foods, yet all incredibly filling and creamy foods that are quite heavy in the stomach! You need to offer foods that help balance out all of that greasy, fatty goodness and this is where grilled veggies come into play! Grilled veggies are still a lot lighter than its other BBQ counterparts so it can help be a nice refreshing surprise after so many bites of the same substantial food. Veggies are typically lighter in calories and density, therefore being a lot more easily digestible in the stomach than other typical BBQ sides. If you think about this benefit coupled with the fact that grilled veggies as opposed to raw, offer a whole new set of flavors that are incredibly delicious and addicting (as well as juicy), you quickly see why grilled veggies should be a significant consideration in your BBQ menu.
Grilled Veggie Recipes That are Sure to Be a Hit!
If you are still super uneasy and not convinced that something as healthy and as boring as veggies can actually be so incredible for your next BBQ, then I strongly suggest you check out and try these grilled veggie recipes. The only way to believe is to taste the deliciousness for yourself. Surely then, you will pick what I am putting down and never throw away the possibility of grilled veggies as a part of your next BBQ lunch or dinner. The even better advantage is that they are super easy and quick to make as well as inexpensive. Try them out yourself and taste the deliciousness that they have to offer!
Grilled Vegetables (www.foodnetwork.com)
Sometimes enjoying grilled vegetables can lie in the fact that you can grill a myriad of so many different veggies, so that you can enjoy the individual and unique taste that each veggie has to offer in each bite! If you love bell peppers, a variety of squash, and mushrooms then this recipe is totally for you! There is something so different about enjoying grilled veggies over raw veggies and hopefully this recipe will show you all that grilled veggies can offer you!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
● 3 red bell peppers that are halved and seeded
● 12 cremini mushrooms
● 3 zucchinis that are about 12 ounces in total and are sliced lengthwise into ½ inch thick rectangles
● 3 yellow squash that are about 1 pound in total and are sliced lengthwise into ½ inch thick rectangles
● 3 Japanese eggplants that are about 12 ounces in total and also sliced lengthwise to about ½ inch thick rectangles
● 2 garlic cloves, minced
● ½ cup of olive oil plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil
● 12 green onions that have the roots cut off
● 1 bunch or 1 pound of asparagus that is trimmed
● Freshly ground black pepper
● ½ teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
● 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh basil leaves
● 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1. Prepare a grill pan over medium high heat (or a barbecue if you are feeling extra adventurous). Begin by coating the ¼ cup of olive oil all over the vegetables. Preferably use a brush for this process and be sure to coat them lightly and equally! Sprinkle some salt and freshly ground pepper over the oil coated vegetables and proceed to work in batches with grilling each vegetable. First, proceed to grill the red bell peppers for about 8-10 minutes (and be sure that you grill all vegetables until they are tender and lightly charred). The yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms will yield a grill time of about 7 minutes. The green onions and asparagus will yield a grill time of about 4 minutes. One super important tip if you want vegetables that look grilled, is to make sure you are not impatient and constantly shifting your vegetables while grilling. Those great grill marks come about when you let the vegetables sit for a while on the hot grill without too many extra movements on your part. After you have finished grilling all of the vegetables, follow up by arranging them on a platter.
2. Next up is creating the delicious seasoning that will coat the grilled veggies and make it so mouthwatering for family and friends to consume and enjoy! Use a bowl to whisk the remaining olive oil (2 tablespoons), balsamic vinegar, basil, parsley, garlic, and rosemary. Be sure to blend them up well together! Add in more salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste. Proceed by drizzling the herb mixture over your vegetables and then serve the vegetables warm or at room temperature. Of course, the most important part is to enjoy!
Grilled Corn with Herb Butter (www.epicurious.com)
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Corn is such a great addition to a barbecue. The grilled and smoky taste of the corn in contrast to its natural sweet flavors will surely enhance your barbecue dinner! The great thing about corn is that it can also be paired with so many other delicious ingredients to further enhance the flavors. You can choose to add hot sauce, more butter, lemon juice, mayonnaise, chili powder and more to create a complex and delectable corn on the cob to enjoy with your meat!
● 8 ears of corn that are shucked
● 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
● 1 ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
● Cayenne pepper
● 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh tender herbs, the choice is all up to you! (this can be flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, or chives)
● ½ cup or 1 stick of unsalted butter at about room temperature
● ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare your grill on a temperature of around medium to high heat. Take a bowl and mix up the butter, salt, herbs, pepper, and pinch of cayenne pepper. This is your herb butter! Be sure to set it aside.
2. Now begin to brush your corn with the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and grill it. Make sure to grill and turn often so that it can be tender and charred in various spots. This will take an estimated time of about 5-8 minutes.
3. Then transfer your corn to a large platter or a bowl and spread out the herb butter over each ear of corn, making sure to divide it evenly. Enjoy!
Roasted Garlic Grilled Vegetables (www.mccormick.com)
Another appetizing way to grill up your vegetables at home! If you are a garlic lover like I surely am, then you will absolutely love this recipe! The coolest thing about this recipe is that it offers you tips on two different ways that you can cook your veggies in order to yield different taste results. You can choose to have tender and juicy veggies or opt for a smokier and more charred taste. Whichever taste and grill preference you decide to go for, they will surely be an instant hit amongst your family and friends!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
● 2 tablespoons of oil
● 1 tablespoon of McCormick Grill Mates Roasted Garlic and Herb Seasoning
● 1 small green bell pepper that is cut into chunks
● 1 medium red onion that is cut into thin wedges
● 1 small red bell pepper that is cut into chunks
● 1 small yellow squash that is sliced up
● 1 cup of mushrooms that have been halved
● 1 small yellow bell pepper that has been cut into chunks
● 1 ear of corn, cut into chunks
1. Begin preparation by tossing in all vegetables into the 2 tablespoons of oil and the 1 tablespoon of seasoning into a large bowl.
2. Place all vegetables into a grill basket and grill on a grill rack or thread onto skewers (skewers are a fun and creative way to eat up on those veggies!)
3. Grill the vegetables over medium heat for about 12-15 minutes, until the vegetables become tender and turn occasionally.
4. If you are looking for some deliciously charred and smoky vegetables then here are some tips! Do not cut your vegetables up at all. Instead brush the whole vegetables with oil and sprinkle them up with seasoning. Then proceed to grill them over medium heat for about 12-15 minutes until they have become charred, while also turning occasionally. You can then slice or cut into bite-sized chunks before you choose to serve.
5. If you think you prefer tender and juicy vegetables instead then here is what you should do! Grill the cut vegetables into a foil packet. Place all the veggies onto the center of a large heavy-duty aluminum foil sheet. Drizzle them up with oil and sprinkle with seasoning. Be sure to toss them all up so they are coated evenly by the oil and seasoning. Then proceed to bring up the sides of the foil and double fold the foil over the top of the veggies, in order to tightly seal the packet. Grill them over the medium-high heat for 12-15 minutes until the veggies have become tender. It is important that you turn the packet over halfway through the cook time.
Here you have it! Three delicious recipes at your disposal! Try them out and see which one is your favorite. No matter what, each recipe is super easy and quick, designed to help you manage your time and effort while yielding great tasting results that your guests, family, friends etc. will surely enjoy! Reap some nutritional benefit from this delicious side and do not underestimate the power of the grill. It surely has the magic to turn every raw taste into something new and original to experience! Dress it up too if you are feeling extra fancy! Throw some zesty lemon juice on top, sprinkle on a seasoning of your choice, or keep it simple. No matter how simple or extravagant you get with your grilled veggies, this side is surely one to not miss out on the next time you have a BBQ feast!