We gave guest blogger and friend Elliott Shaffner of F for Food and photographer Fred Turko an assignment - grill up spring vegetables and fruit! Grilling veggies is a delicious and healthy way to add to any grilling occasion. Below is Elliot's post about her veggie grilling adventure. Thanks Elliott!
The perfect burger. A grilled hamburger and a beer. That was the original plan for this story and photo. And, I won't lie, I was the littlest bit deflated when I heard about the change of plans. Not just because I like to eat burgers, but I have been anxious to polish up on my burger styling skills.
Same goes for the beer (except for the drinking it part yuck). But the great minds at Little House decided on a grilled vegetable extravaganza. And rightly so. Little House takes great pride in offering their delicious seasonal and locally sourced produce. Suffice it to say, customers love it. So, let them eat kale!
When Fred and I went in to case the case (of produce) har har)), we were dubious. Leeks,broccolini, asparagus, sure. But beets, carrots and blood oranges?
So we hit the books to find recipes and techniques for all things grilling. And then we grilled and we grilled and we grilled.
Last night, we invited my dad to join us for The Big Grillorama: all veg all the time. As he is a big meat eater, he was wary and had a rack of lamb chops ready to throw on the grill when the cooking space was freed up. Turns out, meat: it's not what's for dinner. Or, it wasn't last night.
Some olive oil, some salt. That was pretty much it. All three of us were awed, impressed and inspired by these grilled veggies. So simple, so colorful, so healthy and so delicious. And the show stoppers? Those beets and carrots. WHO KNEW?
My dad even called me today to ask for the recipes.. So run, don't walk. Get yourself to Little House and get one of everything vegetable and fruit, get outside in this beautiful sunshine and get grilling!
A GRILLED GARDEN : How to
For most vegetables (and fruit), grilling is as easy as one, two three:
1. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
2. Place onto a piping hot grill for anywhere from 5 to 10 to 15 minutes or until fork tender and grill marked, flipping once midway through.
3. Serve hot, warm, room temperature or cold. Maybe even add a little goat cheese or vinegar or mint or the bell or whistle of your choice.
*This applies to the above asparagus, broccolini, red onion, pineapple, lemon, blood orange, beets and carrots. Just make sure to cut the more substantial vegetables thin enough to cook in a timely manner, like the carrots and beets; they should be about 1⁄4 inch thick and need a few more minutes than the other items. Start them first.
*The bread and avocado are just thrown on the grill for less than a minute – just enough to get those lovely grill marks. *The leeks must be parboiled prior to grilling, but otherwise the above applies to them as well.