July 4th is coming up in a couple of weeks, which means once again, it’s time to fire up the grill. Smack dab in the middle of summer, Independence Day is always a fun-filled day of outdoor BBQs, followed by fireworks at night. If you wish to try your hand at mastering the grill this year, you’ll want to be prepared to whip up a great feast that’s sure to impress friends and family. Head over to our Outdoor Grilling Guide for some great tips and tricks on grilling different meats.
This week’s post expands on our grilling guide with a more in-depth look into grilling fruits and vegetables. Grilling your fruits and vegetables, as opposed to sautéing or frying them, brings out their intense sweetness by caramelizing their natural sugars and giving them that signature sweet and smokey flavor. And best of all, it’s incredibly quick and easy to do in just a few easy steps. Here, we explore the optimum techniques for grilling some of the most popular fruits and vegetables to serve during outdoor BBQs and picnics. Grilling is the easy part, so don’t be afraid to get creative!
- For simple fire-roasted jalapenos, place jalapenos directly over an open flame. Allow to blacken on both sides for about about 60 to 90 seconds. Remove from heat and steam it by placing inside a plastic bag, paper bag or inside a large bowl. After about 15 minutes, you may peel the charred skin from the peppers.
- For grilled stuffed peppers, cut off the top of the jalapeno pepper and down the middle. Remove the spine and scoop out the seeds. Place your stuffing of choice inside the peppers. Place over indirect heat on a hot grill and close the lid for 8-10 minutes.
- Try this recipe: Grilled Bacon wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Peel back the outer corn husks from the ear to the base, but do not remove completely.
- You may remove the first two layers but leave the rest on for protection.
- Pull off the corn silk.
- Fold the outer corn husks back into place and soak in cool salted water for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the corn from the water and place on a hot grill.
- Close the cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the corn over every 5 minutes.
- Try these recipes: Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob, Grilled Corn with Garlic Chile Butter
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
- Clean the mushrooms and cut off the bottom stem.
- Place mushrooms into a resealable bag and add olive oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic. Put bag in the refrigerator for a couple hours.
- Heat the grill to high and place mushrooms onto the grill. Leave on the grill for 5 to 7 minutes per side.
- Flip the mushrooms every few minutes to prevent from burning.
- Try these recipes: Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, Grilled Portobello Cheeseburgers
- Cut the squash down the middle and chop into thin and even pieces.
- Clean out the extra seeds and strings and rinse under cool water.
- Mix olive oil with salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Brush this mixture with a basting brush over both sides on the squash.
- Place on direct medium high heat on the grill for 3-5 minutes on each side.
- Try this recipe: Grilled Summer Squash Salad
- Cut pineapple into slices and place into a resealable bag. Mix together olive oil and your choice of seasoning such as sugar, chile powder, etc. Place into the bag and marinate for at least an hour.
- Heat your grill for high and place pineapple on top of the grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Try these recipes: Grilled Pineapple Slices, Grilled Pineapple with Key Lime and Agave Nectar, Grilled Pineapple with Nutella
- Trim the stems of the figs and cut them in half.
- Stuff with olive oil, dressing or goat cheese.
- Lightly brush the figs with olive oil and place them on the grill over medium heat.
- Cover the grill and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the figs have slightly browned.
- Try these recipes: Grilled Figs with Gorgonzola Cheese, Spiced Pecans and Balsamic Reduction, Barbecued Figs with Blue Cheese
Grilled Pears (Good for grilled peaches as well)
- Cut pears in half and remove the cores.
- Brush with a light layer of olive oil and brown sugar.
- Place pears over medium-high heat and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Try these recipes: Grilled Yali Pears with Red Savina Passionfruit Sauce, Grilled Saturn Peach and Mixed Berry Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
When it comes to the 4th of July or any outdoor festivities, there’s no denying that fruits and vegetables belong on the grill during the summer. Most of the steps for are quite similar–all you really need is a well-oiled grill and your choice of sauces or marinades. What fruits and vegetables do you plan to grill for Independence Day? What are your favorite grilling recipes? Share your thoughts and questions in the comment box below!