Grilling the Garden

Grilling the Garden

With summer in full swing, the bounty of fruits and vegetables available is almost overwhelming.

IHere in SE Pennsylvania, we are blessed to have lots of farmers, including Amish and Mennonite folks, who sell their produce at small roadside stands. We don’t have to drive far to find fresh fruits and vegetables to add to our dinners and we can travel all over the local area to see who has the best of what we crave.

With all of this beautiful produce to choose from, it’s hard not to buy everything in sight.


Grilled vegetables

And the bounty of fresh produce, can make meal planning easy. From late spring to late fall, I truly try to ‘eat with the seasons’ and make my decision around what’s for dinner based on what is available at our local produce stands. Try to take this approach and you’ll find a reason to try new things that you may not have tried before.

In the past, I have also subscribed to a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) program where we took the risk with the farmers. Pay in advance and get a basket of fresh product each week. It was so interesting to see what we would receive and made me get creative cooking whatever we received. Doing this made me find fun ways to make patty pan squash and easy kohlrabi like potato chips with a light dip on the side.

Since cooking on the grill is our preferred way to cook summer dinners, the recipes I tried usually involved grilling all parts of our meal.

Grilling is an ideal way to cook not only meats, but fruits and vegetables as well because there is minimal loss of nutrients.

Never done it before? Don’t worry - the good news is that grilling perfect produce is easy. Here are a few helpful hints to make your fruit and veggie grilling a success.

Start Fresh

Choose fruits and vegetables that are ripe and ready to eat. Under-ripe or overly mature produce won't work on the grill. If you can only find under-ripe produce, give it a few days to mature on the counter.

Choose fruits and vegetables that are ripe and ready to eat. Under-ripe or overly mature produce won't work on the grill.


Zucchini and Yellow Squash


Wash Just Before Using

For the freshest possible produce, it is best to refrigerate fruits and vegetables unwashed. But be sure to wash and pat dry before grilling.

Tomatoes in collander


Smaller is Better

Cut fruits and vegetables into small bite-sized pieces. This will help to reduce cooking time and ensure the proper level of doneness.


Sliced eggplant


Take Their Temperature

For the best results, bring fruits and vegetables to room temperature before grilling.


Add a Splash of Oil

Brush fruits and vegetables (except corn) lightly with oil, melted butter or your favorite marinade or oil-based dressing for added flavor and to help prevent sticking.

For the Sweet Tooth

Add brown sugar to melted butter, brush over fruits and season with cinnamon or ginger while grilling. To prevent sugar from burning, brush on close to end of grilling time.

Grilled peaches


It's Hot on the Grill

Allow the grill rack to get hot before adding your fruits and vegetables. This will help seal in the natural juices without drying it out.



 Use Medium Coals

To avoid burning, grill fruits and vegetables above a lightly dispersed bed of medium coals. Medium describes coals that glow through a layer of gray ash. To test for medium heat, you should be able to hold your hand over the grill for only four to five seconds.


Think Fruits and Veggies First


Grilled Vegetables


Because they taste best served closest to room temperature, grill fruits and veggies before grilling meat. This will allow time for the fruits and vegetables to cool so you can serve them alongside hot meats.


Flawless Corn on the Cob

For perfect corn on the cob, immerse the ears of corn (still in husk) in cold water for one to two hours prior to grilling. Then grill -- it's not necessary to remove silks -- over direct heat until husks are charred (about 15-20 minutes), turning occasionally. The moisture in the corn turns to steam when heated and cooks the corn without burning. Remember r to wear heavy rubber gloves when peeling off the hot husks and silks.


Grilled Corn


Foiled again!

For a steamed effect, wrap vegetables in foil before grilling. Add a touch of butter, juices and herbs or your favorite dressing or marinade and you've got a great side dish. Husked and de-silked corn on the cob can be prepared this way.


Grilled asparagus

What’s your favorite way to enjoy the bounty of the season? Comment below and let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published