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Vegetables On The Grill

The average griller has no problems plopping a couple of burgers or steaks
on the grill, but many of us are at a loss as to the proper way to cook up a
zucchini or a cob of corn. Well, fear no more. The truth of the matter is
that grilling is a natural and fantastic way to prepare vegetables, whether
as a side dish or as a meal in itself. To start with, remember that a veggie
doesn't need to be cooked to death. Just get them warmed through and serve.

But first, there are a few tips to the proper grilling of plant matter. Rule
one is to never let it dry out. This can be accomplished by covering the
item in oil before placing it on the grill or by soaking it in cold water
for up to one hour before cooking. The third option is to wrap it in
aluminum foil. A quick note about aluminum foil is that even though
something is wrapped up good and tight, it will still burn. Keep it turning
while you grill.

There are many advantages to grilling vegetables. Just like meat, veggies
pick up the flavor of the grill, smoke and open flame as they cook (another
good reason to make sure your grill is clean and in good working condition).
There is also the advantage of being able to prepare everything in one
place. When I was a kid I always got sent out to the barbecue to cook up the
hamburgers or steaks while mom prepared everything else inside. But there
isn't any reason for this. Anything that can be cooked on a stove or in the
oven can be cooked on the grill (provided you have the space).

To give you an idea of how to grill vegetables, I've listed a few below with
a couple of tricks to making them perfect. Remember to always cook
vegetables on a freshly cleaned grill, rubbed with oil.

Asparagus - Cut off ends. Soak in water for 30 minutes to an hour. Place on
grill, turning every minute. Remove when tips begin to turn brown.

Bell Peppers - Cut through the middle top to bottom. Remove stems, seeds and
whitish ribs. Brush lightly with oil and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Chili Peppers - Brush with oil. Grill whole on each side, 2-3 minutes.

Eggplant - Cut lengthwise or in disks top to bottom. Soak in water for 30
minutes. Pat dry, brush with oil and grill 2-3 minutes.

Mushrooms - Rinse off dirt and pat dry. Brush with oil and grill. 4-5 minutes
for small mushrooms, 6-8 minutes.

Onions - Cut horizontally about 1/2 inch thick. Grill 3-4 minutes.

Tomatoes - Cut in half, top to bottom. Grill cut side down 2-3 minutes.

Potatoes - Wash and dry. Rub with oil (vegetable). Wrap in aluminum foil and
grill 35-40 minutes, turning occasionally.

Zucchini and small squash - Slice 1/2 inch thickness. Brush with oil and grill
2-3 minutes per side.

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