Guide to Grilling Veggies: Tips for Wowing Your Friends & Family!
Grilling and vegetables go together like...well...carrots and peas! Here on the farm we love all of those things, and grilling veggies is one of our passions. We often get questions from our farmily about how best to use the produce from our fields. So, we decided to whip up this grilling guide! Read on to learn our tips and tricks for making an array of grilled veggies!
Grilled lettuce? Yep, you heard right. While many may think of lettuce as a vegetable you don’t cook, grilled romaine is simply delicious. You’ll want to use a full, mature head of lettuce. Wash the romaine, dry it well and split it lengthwise, then drizzle with a high-heat oil and grill it on medium-high heat. Turn once, the romaine should be raw inside, but charred with grill marks and tender on the outside. Season with your favorite dressing and other flavors and serve! We love to top these with a sprinkle of hemp seeds and nutritional yeast (although some prefer cheese or other toppings).
There are many grilled romaine recipes to try, and it’s good to note that this method also works well with radicchio as well as some other leafy greens.
Marinated Veggies on Skewers
A few hours can make all the difference. When’s the last time you tried throwing your favorite vinaigrette on some excellent produce, and then kept it to marinate in the fridge for a bit before cooking? If it’s been awhile then listen up...pssst...this is an awesome way to grill some veggies!
Keep things easy with some reusable, food-safe containers to make marinating a snap. Try different seasoning blends, sauces, dressings, herbs and juices! Marinating is a time-saver and flavor-enhancer that is easy and simple, keeping clean up and prep time to a minimum. Once you’re ready it’s as simple as making skewers and you’re on your way to grill stardom.
If you don’t have one already at this point, and especially if you might want to skip using skewers, it’s worth it to consider a...
These are invaluable for the serious griller. Grill baskets are made from metal, and often resemble skillets, pans, and griddles. The big difference is that they have holes throughout, allowing them to work on a grill instead of a stovetop.
These excellent tools can be used on the grill in a similar way to skillets, griddles and even rotisseries—depending on what kind you get. Additionally, a variety of grilling options can be enjoyed across the seasons, meaning you can grill peppers, tomatoes, green beans, squash, eggplant and anything else as long as you want to cook outdoors throughout the year.
The important tip to know is to cut all your ingredients so that they won’t slip through the grates, and so that they’ll cook in time together. Also, pay attention to oil as too much can cause flare-ups on the grill.
Cast Iron Skillets & Griddles
Maybe you want to go beyond the grill basket. If you know and love cast iron then you can imagine how well it translates to the grill! The truth is that many grill inserts are indeed made of...you guessed it, cast iron. That’s because it holds flavor, and heat, in an extraordinary way.
When you fire up the grill, that’s the time to throw on a cast iron cookware piece. Choose the size you need (making sure it doesn’t take up more than a third of your grill’s surface area as a general rule). Unless you’re an expert griller, it’s best to avoid large pieces like dutch ovens and very heavy items. When the grates are hot and clean, the cast iron will be ready to go. It’s best to imagine the grill temperature zones like a stovetop and use the cast iron cookware accordingly. This method is a boon to mushroom lovers who want to sauté, as well as anyone who wants to make dishes like quick stir-fried veggies or fruits on the grill.
Mushrooms on the Grill
Umami, nutrition and a gallery of textures are all part of their allure—making mushrooms a powerhouse in the kitchen and on the grill. With earthy flavors, smoky grilling creates a yummy main course or appetizing side dish. When grilling mushrooms it’s best to choose varieties that stay fairly firm when cooked, and use a grill basket or cast iron cookware if necessary.
We recommend portobello, oyster, maitake, and shiitake for grilling—be sure to use surfaces where they will cook evenly and won’t fall through. Many mushrooms can be grilled and are excellent this way. What do you think? Feel free to share with us on social at our Instagram or facebook!
Cooking with Fire
Perhaps the most fun for outdoor enthusiasts and foodies alike is to grill in the most primitive sense...on true wood coals that create genuine wood smoke. This kind of cooking takes work, and can be viewed as a true craft unto itself. Wood-cooking methods can take much practice and learning, but can also be very rewarding (imagine amazingly delicious food). Like any art, it’s best to find a number of resources to gain information from and then practice accordingly.
Creating dishes that have been made with a real fire can be incredibly fun, and grilling can be a great way to get people together and enjoy life! From us at Moon Valley to you—Happy Grilling farmily!
Winter Squash 101
Winter squash. What does that even mean? Yes, they’re the squash that are readily available in winter. Still what are they, how do you use each and which ones will you receive in your shares?
Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered!
Check out this guide that provides you with all the answers :) Remember: while you can roast winter squash seeds with their flesh just like pumpkin seeds, it’s best to remove them before or after cooking and keep them separate!