Whether you’re on the road for a tailgating party or on the patio for a barbecue, pick garden-fresh vegetables to grill alongside chicken, pork and beef.
In summer, your grilling garden should be overflowing with tomatoes, corn and squash, along with summer herbs like basil that will only boost the flavors in your harvest.
And if the harvest isn’t quite what you expected, check out a farmer’s market for their offerings.
Bring a basket and a pair of snips into the garden and pick what’s ready to eat.
In many cases, frequent harvesting of vegetables and pinching back herbs will encourage more production.
Include Edibles when you grill:
- Select ripe tomatoes that give just a little bit.
- Squash and zucchini are at their most flavorful when they are under 6 inches in length.
- Use herb marinades and flavored butters to complement the flavors of your veggies. Prep all marinades and butters ahead of time, package everything in zipper storage bags or containers and put on ice.
- Bring bunches of herbs and a pair of scissors for last-minute garnishes.
- Make your own vinaigrette with these basic ingredients: fresh herbs, a squeeze of citrus juice or vinegar, quality olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Amp up store-bought marinades with herbs and garlic from the garden.
When it’s time to grill, remember that most vegetables cook quickly.
Ears of corn, for example, take about 10 minutes over medium heat to sear the kernels.
Corn can be placed directly on the grill. For small vegetables like tomatoes and green beans, get a grill basket.
Try these Recipes for Grilling Your Garden-Fresh Veggies:
Grill-Roasted Corn with Parmesan Chive Butter
You can prep the butter in advance, seal it in a container and keep it cool. We adapted this recipe from Weber.
- 6 ears fresh corn, shucked
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Mix together the butter ingredients. If not using right away, store in an airtight container in a refrigerator or on ice in a cooler.
- When you’re ready to use, just brush butter over warm ears of corn.
Grilled Zucchini Strips with Italian Dressing
Make your own vinaigrette, or use your favorite store-bought dressing to add flavor to mild zucchini.
- 4 to 6 zucchini
- 1/2 cup your favorite vinaigrette or Italian salad dressing
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary and chives
- Slice zucchini lengthwise in ¼-inch-thick strips. Marinate zucchini strips in dressing for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Heat grill to medium. Place zucchini strips directly on grill. Brush with vinaigrette.
- Grill 5 minutes each side, brushing on more marinade if needed. Finish with chopped fresh herbs and serve.
Grilled Green Beans with Olive Oil and Lemon
A vegetable grill pan makes cooking green beans a snap. Try this easy recipe to add some green to your tailgate. We adapted this recipe from Weber.
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the grill to medium and place the vegetable grill pan on the grate.
- In a colander, rinse off the green beans and transfer to a bowl.
- Whisk together the oil and lemon juice. Pour the mixture over the green beans and toss to coat them well.
- Use tongs to place the green beans in the grill pan.
- Grill over medium heat with the lid closed, about 5 to 7 minutes, until beans are crisp and brown in spots.
- Remove the green beans from the pan. Season to taste with salt and toss with lemon zest.
Grilled Corn and black bean salsa
To prep, grill ears of corn over medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning every few minutes. When cool, slice off the kernels.
Grill the tomatoes for about 15 minutes over medium heat in a vegetable grilling pan. When the skins are black and blistered, take them off the heat and let cool before peeling and chopping.
- 1 (15.5 oz.) can black beans, drained
- 3 or 4 grilled plum tomatoes, chopped
- 3 or 4 scallions, chopped
- 2 ears grilled corn, kernels scraped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 sweet mini peppers, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed, chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 1 avocado, diced (optional)
- Combine all ingredients. Adjust seasonings and serve with tortilla chips. Refrigerate leftovers.
Photos by Laura Mercer