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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Grilled Asparagus Spears

This easy recipe is actually just a foolproof technique for grilling one of summer's great treasures. Brought to you courtesy of our friend Bob Blumer, a.k.a. The Surreal Gourmet, cookbook author and bon vivant extraordinaire.

  

1 pound fresh asparagus
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Look for firm asparagus stalks with deep green or purplish tips. Also check the bottom of the spears. If they are dried up, chances are they have been sitting around for too long. Trim off the tough bottom of the spear by grasping each end and bending it gently until it snaps at its natural point of tenderness - usually two thirds of the way down the spear. If the spear is less than 6-inches long, chances are it has already been trimmed for you. Then take a vegetable peeler and peel off the outer skin of the lower half of the remaining stalk.

Place asparagus on a plate. Drizzle oil over top and turn spears until they are coated. Sprinkle with salt (this may seem like a lot - just trust me) and turn again.

Grill asparagus for 5 minutes over Direct Medium heat. Each minute or so, roll each spear 1/4 turn. Asparagus should begin to brown in spots (indicating that its natural sugars are caramelizing) but should not be allowed to char.

Remove from grill and serve immediately (eating spears with your fingers enhances the experience).

Makes 4 servings.

Tips from The Surreal Gourmet:
Le secret: Thicker spears fare better on the grill.

The adventure club: Wrap grilled spears with slices of prosciutto - a perfect appetizer for your next cocktail party.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Grilled Corn on the Cob

The basic technique for a summertime classic.

  

4 ears sweet corn in husks, silk trimmed

Place corn in deep container, cover with cold water and soak at least 1 hour. Remove corn from water; shake to remove excess water.

Place corn on center of cooking grate. Grill 25 to 30 minutes, turning 3 times. Use gloves to remove husks and silk before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Grilled New Potato Salad

Spruce up your next cookout with this fresh twist on an old standby. Crunchy scallions and fresh herbs make all the difference. If you skewer the potato halves before grilling, they'll be easier to turn.

  

For the potatoes:
2-1/2 pounds new potatoes, washed
2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/4 x 1/4" pieces

4 medium Vidalia onions

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

For the dressing:
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To make the potatoes:
In a large saucepan, boil the potatoes with 1-1/2 teaspoons of the salt until tender. Drain. Cut potatoes in half and place into a large bowl and toss with the oil, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Grill the potatoes over Direct Medium heat until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Remove potatoes from the grill and allow to cool. Cut each half into bite-sized pieces. Put in a large bowl, cover, and hold at room temperature.

Cook bacon in a skillet over low heat (low heat allows the fat to render completely, leaving crisp bacon bits). Periodically pour off the bacon fat and reserve. When bacon is crisp, add to the bowl of potatoes.

Peel the onions, and push skewers through the onions at 1/2" intervals. Slice through the onion between the skewers (this holds the onion rings together during grilling). Brush the onion slices with the reserved bacon fat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill the onions over Direct Medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, turning and basting with the reserved bacon fat once halfway through grilling time. Remove from grill, slide off of the skewers, and cut each slice into quarters. Add to the potatoes with the scallions, thyme, and parsley.

To make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together. Pour over the potatoes and toss gently to distribute ingredients. Cover and allow to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature before serving.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Grilled Summer Fruit Salad

This recipe makes a great salad on its own or a refreshing summer dessert when served over vanilla ice cream.

  

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 medium nectarines, halved and pitted
3 medium peaches, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon almond or orange liqueur
1 tablespoon lime juice
1-1/2 cups red or green seedless grapes

Combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a disposable 13 x 9-inch aluminum pan. Add nectarines and peaches; toss to coat evenly. Arrange fruit in a single layer.

Place pan in center of cooking grate. Grill 12 to 15 minutes or until fruit is firm-tender, turning fruit pieces once halfway through grilling time. Cool slightly. Cut fruit into thick slices. In small saucepan, combine orange juice, liqueur, and lime juice; heat through. Combine fruit, juice mixture, and grapes; toss lightly. Serve warm.

Makes 6 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Grilled Sweet Potato Coins

Blanching is the secret here: It locks in flavor and color for exceptionally flavorful sweet potatoes.

  
  

1 quart salted water
2 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound total)
Ice water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt

In a 2-quart saucepan bring salted water to a boil. Peel and slice sweet potatoes into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick disks. Add disks to boiling water; blanch for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove sweet potatoes from water and plunge into a bowl of ice water to chill.

Remove from water, dry, and place in bowl or large plastic bag. Pour oil over sweet potatoes; toss to coat.

Place sweet potatoes in center of cooking grate. Grill 4 to 6 minutes, turning once during cooking time. Remove sweet potatoes from grill; sprinkle with salt.

Makes 4 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Grilled Vegetable Pasta

Add the sauce immediately to the noodles when they're still steaming hot, so the heat will thoroughly cook the eggs. The result is one creamy dish!

  

For the vegetables:
1 red bell pepper
1 bunch asparagus
2 small zucchini, halved
4 plum tomatoes, halved
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

For the sauce:
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound spaghetti

To prepare the vegetables:
Grill the bell pepper over Direct Medium heat until evenly charred on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes, turning every 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pepper from the grill and place in a paper bag; close tightly. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes to steam off the skins. Meanwhile, brush the asparagus, zucchini, and tomatoes with the olive oil and season with salt. Grill over Direct Medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Remove from the grill. Take the pepper out of the bag and peel away the charred skin. Cut off the top and remove the seeds. Coarsely chop all the vegetables and set aside.

To make the sauce:
In a small bowl mix together the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat warm the olive oil and sauté the shallot and garlic until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the grilled vegetables and stir to combine.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Drain the noodles and transfer to a large serving bowl. Immediately add the sauce to the hot noodles and toss well to coat. Add the grilled vegetables, sautéed shallot and garlic, and toss to combine. Serve immediately and top with additional cheese, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Hot German Potato Salad

To cut down on last-minute preparation, make this salad up to 8 hours ahead, then heat on the grill.

  

1-1/4 cups water, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
6 slices bacon
1 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup sliced celery
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed, crushed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a medium saucepan bring 1 cup water and salt to a boil. Add potato cubes. Return to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and set aside.

In a medium skillet cook bacon until crisp. Strain, reserving 3 tablespoons drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside. Add onions, celery, and caraway seed to reserved drippings. Cook until onions are tender but not brown. Stir in sugar and flour. Add vinegar, 1/4 cup water, mustard, and pepper. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked potatoes and bacon. Cool 10 minutes. Transfer potato salad to a 8 x 5-1/4-inch disposable foil pan. Cover with foil and refrigerate up to 8 hours.

Place chilled potato salad, covered, in center of cooking grate. Cook 35 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 4 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Italian-Style Grilled Corn on the Cob

An easy to get great flavor from a summertime favorite. You may never eat plain corn again!

  

4 ears fresh sweet corn, in husks
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Soak corn in cold water for 30 minutes; drain. Meanwhile combine oil, oregano, and parsley; set aside.

Pull back husks on each ear of corn, leaving husks attached at base. Remove corn silk. Brush corn with seasoned oil. Fold husks back around corn; tie at top with string or strip of corn husk.

Place corn in center of cooking grate. Grill 12 to 14 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Carefully remove husks. Sprinkle corn with cheese; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Lime Cucumbers and Tomatoes

This side dish brings authentic Caribbean flavor to two common garden vegetables.

  
  

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 medium cucumbers, sliced 1 inch thick
2 large tomatoes, sliced 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

In a small bowl combine oil, lime juice, salt, sugar, and pepper. Place cucumbers and tomatoes in bowl or large plastic bag. Add oil mixture and toss lightly to coat.

Place cucumbers on cooking grate. Grill 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and continue grilling vegetables 4 minutes, turning all vegetables once halfway through grilling time. Remove cucumbers and tomatoes from grill and arrange alternately on a serving platter. Sprinkle with chives.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Marinated Grilled Tomatoes

It was tough to improve on the hallowed tomato, but this recipe seems to do the trick.

  

2 tablespoons catsup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
White pepper to taste
3 large tomatoes, sliced 1 inch thick
6 leaves Boston lettuce

In a small bowl whisk together catsup, oil, vinegar, thyme, garlic, salt, and white pepper. Place tomatoes in resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over tomatoes, seal bag, and marinate for 1 hour. Remove tomatoes from marinade; reserve marinade.

Place tomatoes in center of cooking grate. Grill 2 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time.

Dip lettuce leaves in remaining marinade. Top each lettuce leaf with a grilled tomato slice.

Makes 6 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Roasted Red Peppers

Grill-roasted peppers are great for use in numerous recipes, atop grilled chicken breasts, or on their own drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with balsamic vinegar and salt.

  

2 medium sweet red or green peppers, rinsed

Place whole peppers in center of cooking grate. Grill peppers, turning every 5 minutes, until charred evenly on all sides. Remove peppers from grill and place in a paper bag; close tightly. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes to steam off skins. Remove peppers from bag; peel away charred skins. Cut off tops and remove seeds. Slice, chop, or use as needed.

Makes 4 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Salsa Cornbread

This quick and easy variation on a barbecue favorite will save you time and add zest to the party.

  
  

1 package corn muffin mix, 8-1/2 ounces
1/4 cup hot or mild salsa
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons canned chopped green chilies
1 egg, beaten

In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients; stir until moistened. Pour batter into lightly oiled 8x8x2-inch baking pan or 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

Place pan in center of cooking grate. Cook 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Makes 8 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Spicy Grilled Fries

Nothing beats home-made fries - except home-made fries on the grill!

  
  

4 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed (about 1-1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1/2 x 1/2-inch sticks. Combine potatoes, oil, and lemon juice in large, resealable plastic bag; toss to coat.

In small bowl combine seasoned salt, cumin, and black pepper to make seasoning mix. Set aside.

Place potatoes in center of cooking grate. Grill 12 to 15 minutes or until tender, turning twice during grilling time. Remove from grill and sprinkle with seasoning mix; mix lightly.

Makes 4 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Stuffed Grilled Onions

Serve with plenty of fresh crusty bread to sop up the savory juices.

  
  

6 large Spanish onions (about 8 ounces each)
2 cups bread cubes, two days old (about 4 slices)
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 pound fresh Italian sausage

To prepare onions for stuffing, leave outer skin on onions and rinse. Trim root end off onions to make a flat bottom. Cut tops off; reserve. Hollow centers of onions, leaving two or three outer layers intact; save centers for another use.

In a medium mixing bowl, soak bread cubes in chicken broth, turning to coat. When broth is completely absorbed, add sausage. Toss gently to mix well. Fill onions with equal amounts of sausage mixture. Place tops on onions. Place each onion upright in center of a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil; bring up edges and seal, leaving a little space for expansion of steam.

Place foil onion packets upright in center of cooking grate; cook 2 hours or until very tender. Remove onions from foil and remove outer-most skin. Reserve cooking juices and serve stuffed onions with juices.

Makes 6 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Sweet Potato Salad with Grilled Vegetables

This fantastic summer salad makes a bright and zesty complement to grilled seafood.

  

For the grilled vegetables:
1 bulb garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 whole red pepper

For the salad:
2-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peel on
1/4 cup catsup
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
2 tablespoons lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons snipped chives

To grill vegetables:
Cut off top of garlic to expose cloves. Drizzle with oil. Place garlic and whole red pepper in center of cooking grate. Grill pepper, turning every 5 minutes or so, until blackened on all sides, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, grill garlic 40 to 45 minutes or until soft; allow to cool. When pepper is done, remove from grill and place in a paper bag; close tightly. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pepper from bag; peel away charred skin. Cut off top and remove seeds. Dice pepper and set aside. Gently squeeze cooked garlic cloves to separate from skins. Mash 2 to 3 cloves to make 1 teaspoon of garlic. Set aside. (Reserve remaining garlic for another use.)

Prepare sweet potatoes:
Wash sweet potatoes and boil in water until cooked 3/4 through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Do not overcook. Cool, peel, and slice 1/4 inch thick.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine catsup, oil, vinegar, mustard, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, teaspoon of grilled garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper to make marinade. Mix well to combine.

In large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, marinade mixture, diced red pepper, and red onion. Sprinkle with parsley and chives; toss to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour or overnight.

Makes 6 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Thai Cucumber Salad

Hot and cool, crisp and saucy, this side dish captures the intrigue of Thai cuisine.

  

1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 red finger chile pepper, seeded, veined, and finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced

In a small saucepan combine vinegar, lime juice, chile pepper, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add onion; simmer 30 seconds. Cool slightly.

Place cucumber pieces in a medium bowl. Pour cooled marinade over cucumber pieces. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. Serve cold.

Makes 4 servings.

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Grilling Tips and Recipes From

Three-Potato Grill

Forget the run-of-the-mill baked potato - mix it up!

  

2 medium Idaho potatoes, scrubbed, cut lengthwise in half
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, cut lengthwise in half
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed, cut lengthwise in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Lightly brush potatoes with oil. Position potatoes, cut side down, in center of cooking grate. Grill 28 to 30 minutes or until tender, turning once halfway through grilling time.

In a small bowl, combine seasoned salt, garlic powder, and pepper; sprinkle evenly over potatoes.

Makes 6 servings.

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