Just because it’s the cold season, it doesn’t mean that you should eat fewer veggies. If anything, you should be having more. A healthy way to do that is by grilling vegetables. Yeah, on the stovetop. And the process is totally worth it.
Ah, winter, the season where your whole body is begging you: boost my immune system because I don’t want to get a cold or even worse, the flu! It’s too late for me, honestly, because I got this massive cold a few days ago and now I am struggling with putting letters together and having them make sense.
But it might not be too late for you! You can still make your body stronger to withstand viruses and the dreaded common cold. A good idea for that is grilling vegetables because they keep most of their nutrients when cooked and they taste just delicious.
5 tips and tricks for expertly grilling vegetables
1. Don’t marinate
Yeah, when we grill all kinds of meat, we tend to want to add so much flavor to them, through marinating. But when it comes to grilling vegetables, marinades are honestly a waste of time. No matter how much flavor you put in them, it’s not going to stick to the vegetables. So just season properly with salt and pepper and you can add a sauce over them later, on the plate.
2. Make a grilled veggie salad
But you might ask, can I grill any ingredient I want to add in a salad? And the answer is yes. You can grill almost anything you want. As long as it’s not pulses or beans or grains because that would be madness. But when it comes to produce, think spinach, kale, arugula, even herbs if you are so inclined. The best part is that they don’t cook evenly, so you will have plenty of textures in your salad bowl, from wilted to crunchy. Grill them and turn them over frequently, then season them with salt and freshly ground pepper, add olive oil and you’re good to go.
3. Use two grates, if possible
If you have tinier vegetables to grill, then be careful: they could shrink so much while heat is applied that they might slip between the grates. So, the idea would be to stack two grates in a crisscross pattern, so that you don’t lose vital and tasty grilled vegetables to the flames!
4. Think outside the box
Beyond leafy greens like spinach, arugula, and others, there are so many other things you can grill. Like romaine lettuce, if you feel like you can trust it these days. You can also grill ingredients from the farmer’s market or supermarket that you’ve never thought about grilling before. I personally found some black radish at the grocery store the other day and I am really going to grill it alongside some eggplant and see how that turns out. Experiment confidently!
And also try different types of a particular food. Don’t grill regular onions. Try other types, like scallions or even pearl onions. Go for Japanese eggplant or any kind of mushroom over the ‘been there, done that’ portobellos.
5. The grill isn’t always the end
That sounds more mysterious than I intended. What I meant was you can start things off on the grill with your vegetable of choice, but then finish cooking it in the heated pan with some vegetable oil. That way, you can give it a bit of crunch and a variety in flavor and texture.