By Case D Fischer
Last week we talked about grilling chicken breasts and making quesadillas, this week we are grilling up some veggies. After all, if you are firing up the grill, you might as well cook your whole meal right there. These kebabs are fast, easy, and a great way to incorporate vibrant color into your grilling menu.
Vegetable kebabs are sliced veggies on a skewer that can be grilled right alongside your meats. Having lots of different vegetables (with similar cooking times) works best. The most common vegetables for grilling include yellow squash, zucchini squash, bell peppers, mushrooms and red onions. These vegetables have a fast cooking time of 10-15 minutes, and they will add that rainbow of color mentioned earlier. Other vegetables like Roma tomatoes, corn on the cob, and yellow onions are great substitutes or additions to your skewers. Most importantly, find a great vegetable combination that you love, and stack them on.
There are many ways to infuse extra flavor into vegetables before or after grilling. They can be marinated for 10-15 minutes ahead of time, a garlic-herb dressing can be brushed over the vegetables while on the grill, or a flavorful sauce can be placed on the side for dipping. Grilling vegetables gives them a distinct charred look. The char adds a smoky flavor that compliments your marinated skewers. Grilling Tip: It’s important to note the types of oil you’re using in your dressings or marinades. Because the cooking time for vegetables is quick, you should use oils with high smoke points. Great oils to use on the grill are vegetable, olive canola, avocado, and grapeseed oil. Their high smoke points can withstand the heat of the grill without affecting the taste of your vegetables. Today’s recipe calls for a garlic herb-based dressing that is brushed on while the kebabs are on the grill. Its flavor won’t overpower the taste of your veggies, and it will pair perfectly with whatever meat you are grilling as well.
Of course, you can modify this recipe by adding chicken, shrimp, or beef to the kebabs, alternating the meat with the veggies on the skewer. This makes a great addition for the heartier eaters in the crowd.
As we discussed last week, if you don’t own a grill, a cast iron grill pan will work nicely as well. Cast iron grill pans mimic the results of an outdoor grill. They are known for their heat retention, durability, and ability to withstand high temperatures without meats or vegetables sticking. Just place the kebabs on a cast iron grill pan over medium heat and cook on each side for 4-5 minutes.
These vegetable kebabs are a wonderful way to incorporate vegetables into your grilling fare and it’s super easy. Try out these kebabs this grilling season with your friends and family!
- 3 Wooden (or bamboo) skewers
- zucchini squash
- yellow squash
- red bell pepper
- green bell pepper
- ¼ lb whole fresh mushrooms
- small red onion
Seasonings to brush on while grilling:
- 1 ½ tsp avocado oil,
- ¾ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp salt
- 1tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
1. Soak your wood skewers in water for 15 minutes. (If you are using metal skewers grill for 15 minutes dry)
2. Preheat grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grate.
3. Slice vegetables to 1-inch slices, and thread skewers (alternate between vegetables to ensure equal placement)
4. In a bowl, whisk together: olive oil, thyme, salt, and black pepper smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Brush mixture lightly over skewers.
5. Cook skewers on preheated grill, turning and basting the skewers every 4-5 minutes. Take off grill when vegetables are tender, onions are fragrant, and skewers are lightly charred on all sides.
*If using the cast iron grill method, follow these steps with the stove top on medium heat.