Monday, August 24, 2015

Grilled Veggie Packets

Grilling Vegetables in the summer is the happy equivalent of roasting them in the winter. 

It is easy to do and the vegetables taste fantastic when you do it. 

There isn't much of a recipe here - but a few things to keep in mind as far as technique. 

Use a Heavy Duty foil - just regular foil really isn't strong or thick enough, you'll end up burning your vegs or breaking your packet and dumping them all over. 

Layer your Veggies - I put longer cooking root veggies on the bottom, Where they can get the most heat, Vegetables that I still want al dente, I put towards the top (because I don't turn my packet)

Layer your Foil - I used two layers for the bottom, and another for the top - it was very large. 

Use good a hearty drizzling of Olive Oil on your veggies and add your seasonings. In this situation butter will burn too quickly, and you do want the flavor olive oil will lend.

You can use a large bowl or plastic bag to make sure the veggies are coated, but I just put a drizzle on the bottom, then on each layer as I added the veggies.

I used salt and lemon pepper. - I used the lemon pepper liberally, but the salt sparingly.

Then I added a layer of foil to the top of the packet and folded the edges in.  You don't have to be too meticulous about it, but you do want to make sure you get a good seal.  

You want the steam to stay inside your packet as well as all those flavorful juices - and you don't want and edge opening and dumping out everywhere - Boo!! to that!

Cook your packet 12 - 15 minutes on a hot grill  - if you sliced your veggies a bit thinner ( or you used mostly a quick cooking vegetable like summer squash) you'll want to shorten the time to perhaps 10 minutes. 

This may be nerve wracking the first time you attempt it. It was very hard to not be able to "peek" and see just how done things were getting. I was afraid I was going to char everything and make it inedible.

If you are nervous, err on the side of caution and under-cook your veggies. The worst possible thing in that scenario is that you are eating crispy veggies - Be brave, raw veggies don't kill ya.  

I wanted to be sure and include this photo - the carrots looked burned - and perhaps to some people they are, but they tasted fantastic! The natural sugars in them had caramelized and things got a little crazy about who had more carrots on their plate than someone else. (yes!! they Do fight about everything)

I even pulled the carrots out of their skin (so it was just soft cooked carrot) and gave some to the baby - he was definitely disappointed when he got to the end of his share.

I remember when I did my first roast of vegetables in the oven and the oven seemed to hot, I was sure I was going to set those veggies on fire in there, But now it is one of my favorite ways to prepare them.

Take a risk trying this - Let those summer veggies be the start and let your kitchen have a night off. You'll be very very glad you did.