Demo Kitchen Recipe: Char-grilled Vegetables
Grilling is a sure way to add extra layers of flavor upon already flavorful vegetables. The high heat caramelizes, imparting not only a smokiness but also a satisfying sweetness that elevates any humble vegetable. Keep the following in mind to ensure the best results.
1.) Use only a light amount of oil when brushing the vegetables; an excessive coating causes flare-ups, which impart off putting notes. 2.) Keep a squeeze bottle of water nearby to put out any flare-ups before they ruin the taste of your food. 3.) Salt your vegetables moments before they hit the hot grill - otherwise the salt will draw moisture to the surface, preventing char.
The caramelized notes and smoky char of grilled vegetables call for something with bold flavors, so pair with the fruit driven sauvignon blanc or a richer rosés such as the Belle de Provence. Beer-wise, go for a bright and citrusy Belgian blonde ale such as Leffe Abbey Blonde.
- Summer Squash
- Bell Peppers
- Portobello Mushrooms
- When preparing the veggies for grilling, make sure you cut thick slices; thin slices will burn and become soggy. 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick is a good place to start.
- Make sure your vegetables are all dry before grilling; excess moisture prevents char marks.
- Before grilling the eggplant, soak the slices in warm salt water for 30 minutes to an hour and then pat dry.
- If you’re asparagus is very thick, consider blanching it first by boiling it for 30-60 seconds in boiling salt water to soften it then shock it in ice water. Pat dry before grilling.
- Remember to remove the stem and gills from Portobello mushrooms.
- Make sure your grill is clean and very hot to ensure well-defined marks.
- Brush the vegetables with a SMALL amount of oil.
- Season well with salt and pepper right before grilling
- Once both sides are charred stop cooking so the vegetables retain some texture and don’t overcook.
- Serve immediately - grilled vegetables cool off very fast.