Lemon Grilled Vegetables

I have to admit - I'll grill in the middle of a blizzard, especially if it means pig. But it isn't until we start getting hints of spring that I go completely insane. I can't think of much that I haven't adapted to the fire - from every kind of protein, side dishes and desserts (yes, even some baking - it CAN be done!).

This has got to be one the simplest, most delicious things you can do to vegetables. They come off beautifully, with a simple dressing of just a touch of oil and some lemon. I figure why get dishes dirty when you don't have to - if the weather is gorgeous, your meals can be as well, and you'll save yourself time away from the stove and dishes. Use that to play outside! Yay veggies and spring!

Beautiful lemon grilled vegetables.
Beautiful lemon grilled vegetables.

The Method!

Very simple here. All you'll need:

any mix of vegetables you like - my favorites:

  • onion - any variety
  • zucchini
  • asparagus
  • bell peppers
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • juice from a lemon or two
  • To serve four people - I used one each pepper, onion, zucchini and a small handful of asparagus. If you want more or less of anything - go for it!
  1. Make sure your grill is preheated to medium - about 350F is great, but you'll want to keep the flames rather low. You want to get grill marks but not complete charring.
  2. Slice all the vegetables into long strips or thick slices. You want them thick enough to not fall through the grates of the grill.  Place your veggies into a shallow casserole dish, and sprinkle them liberally with the salt and pepper. Drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil, and squeeze the juice of a lemon over them.
  3. Place the veggies on the grill - careful to position them so that they don't fall through the grates. Close the lid of the grill, but watch for flare-ups. This is where I keep a second lemon in reserve. The olive oil tends to cause flare-ups pretty often - I use a lemon so that I'm not washing off the lovely flavor when I cut the fire back. Keep water of course in case it gets huge, but if you're careful on the temp before you start you should be ok.
  4. Let the veggies have three-four minutes with the lid closed, then check. If you're happy with your grill marks, turn them. Only turn once - this allows for better caramelization - which is when the fire brings out the sugars in the vegetables. If you keep moving them, they won't get that lusciousness you're after.
  5. Grill them on the second side for about three to four more minutes. You want them tender, so that there is still some resistance to the bite, not mushy. If you haven't used your second lemon, do it before you pull them off. Just squeeze it over the veggies right on the grill.
  6. That's it - this is simplicity itself. If you have a garden AND a grill - you're the luckiest person on earth!

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