Top | Excerpts
Mastering the Grill
(article, Andrew Schloss & David Joachim)
h3. From Chapter 9: "Mastering Vegetables and Other Sides"
h1. About the book and authors
Between them, Pennsylvania denizens and food writers Andrew Schloss and David Joachim have authored more than 35 cookbooks. Mastering the Grill is their comprehensive guide to the gear, techniques, ingredients, and science of grilling.
Excerpt reprinted with permission of Chronicle Books (2007).
Vegetables come in all shapes, sizes, and densities. Each one requires a slightly different approach once they hit the fire. And some vegetables can be grilled in more ways than one.
For instance, eggplant can be sliced and grilled over direct heat to keep the slices intact, or whole eggplant can be grilled with indirect heat so you can scoop out the softened flesh from the skin.
Sliced sweet potatoes can be grilled over direct heat, or you can bury whole sweet potatoes in the coals and eat them out of their skins like a baked potato.
In general, most vegetables should be quickly grilled over a medium-high fire. It helps to add some fat and flavor, so we recommend brushing or tossing most vegetables with oil and sprinkling them with salt and pepper or the spice rub of your choice. We prefer to grill large vegetables directly on the grill grate, but smaller pieces, like slices of zucchini or unpeeled garlic cloves, are better on a grill screen coated with oil to prevent the pieces from falling into the fire.
[%image featurette-image float=right width=200 credit="Photo: Alison Miksch" caption="Grilled corn."]
(Grill trays, grates, and screens are perforated grill toppers that allow you to cook small or delicate foods without the use of skewers. They often include handles on both sides and can also be used to cook doughs right on the grill. Grill purists may scoff, but these grill toppers expand the possibilities of your grill.)
Here are some general prep guidelines and cooking times for various vegetables. All cut vegetables should be washed, trimmed, and tossed with oil and the seasonings of your choice before grilling. All vegetables listed below are cooked over direct medium to medium-high heat, turning once or twice during cooking until just tender and grill-marked.
|!Vegetable|!Prep and Grilling Time|!Minutes|
|Artichokes|Trim, wrap in foil with liquid|Indirect heat, 40-50 |
|Asparagus|Trim, oil and season|5-8|
|Beets, whole|Prick skin in several places, oil, and season |Indirect heat, 40-50|
|Belgian endive|Halve lengthwise, oil, and season|8-10|
|Corn, in the husk|Leave whole, grill until blackened all over, husk and season after cooking|15-18|
|Corn, husked|Leave whole or cut into pieces, oil and season, grill until browned|8-12|
|Eggplant, sliced|Slice 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick, oil and season|8-12|
|Eggplant, whole|Leave whole, prick skin in several places, season after cooking|Indirect heat, 30-40|
|Garlic, cloves|Leave unpeeled, oil and squeeze from skin when soft|8-10|
|Garlic, whole|Trim top to expose some cloves, oil, wrap in foil, squeeze from skin when soft|30-35|
Leeks|Trim, rinse, remove tough green tops, halve lengthwise, oil and season|6-8|
Mushrooms|Leave whole, slice or grill caps only, oil and season|8-12|
Onions|Cut into wedges with root end intact or slice 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick and skewer slices through side to secure, oil and season|8-12|
Peppers (bell or chile), sliced|Core, seed, and cut into large pieces, oil and season|8-12|
Peppers (bell or chile), whole|Leave whole, grill until blackened all over, cover tightly for 15 minutes then peel and seed before cutting|10-12|
Potatoes, sliced |Slice 1/4-inch thick, oil and season|18-20|
Potatoes, whole |Prick skin in several places, oil and season|Indirect heat, 60-80|
Squash, summer|Slice 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick, oil and season|8-10|
Sweet potatoes, sliced|Slice 1/4-inch thick, oil and season|18-20|
Sweet potatoes, whole|Prick skin in several places, oil and season|Indirect heat, 60-80|
Tomatoes|Halve or slice 3/4-inch thick, oil and season|6-10|