Fresh vegetables harvested straight from your own garden and simply prepared, can instantly elevate any meal to five-star status for flavor and for ease of preparation. Roasted and grilled vegetables are quick, easy, and short cooking times retain the vegetable’s natural flavors. Almost any vegetable you grow can be prepared easily in the oven or the grill, with just a few simple ingredients. Here’s how to get started:
Roasting and Grilling Equipment
- For roasting you’ll need cookie sheet, jelly roll pan or roasting pan. Some like to cover these with tin foil or parchment paper for easier clean-up, but it’s not necessary.
- For grilling, though it’s possible to place larger pieces of vegetables directly on the grill, cooking them is much easier on a vegetable grill basket or tray or threaded on skewers.
Pro Tip: If using wooden skewers, remember to soak them in water for a couple of hours before using to keep them from burning on the grill.
Almost any vegetable–from cherry tomatoes to sweet potatoes to asparagus to green beans–can be prepared in this manner. You will also need a spray oil, preferably olive or avocado oil, and salt and pepper. You can add other seasonings, minced garlic, or chopped fresh or dried herbs to taste, though often simple salt and pepper renders the most elegant and delicious final dish.
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and spray your cooking sheet with the oil.
2. Slice vegetables into similarly-sized pieces (for evenness in cooking) and place in a single layer on the tray.
3. Spray the vegetables well with the same oil. Salt, pepper and add any other seasoning you desire.
4. Roast until the vegetables are cooked through and starting to caramelize, turning a deep brown. Flip once halfway through the cooking time or–an easier method–start with your tray on the lowest rack of the oven and switch it to the highest rack halfway through the cooking time.
Your cooking time will depend on the size of your vegetable pieces and the vegetables themselves. When in doubt, check frequently and flip the veggies (or switch racks) when they are golden brown on the bottom.
- Potatoes or squash, large chunks – 1 hour
- Summer squash, chunks, or medium Brussels sprouts, halved – 20 to 30 minutes
- Asparagus or green beans, whole – 10 to 15 minutes
1. Spray your grill tray or basket, if using, with oil. Place the vegetables on the tray and spray them with the oil and season. If you are working with skewers, skip right to spraying and seasoning.
2. Grilling usually takes around the same time as roasting, but keep an eye on your vegetables, because the exact timing will depend on how hot your coals are. Flip the vegetables often to ensure even cooking.
3. Potatoes can be sliced thin and grilled on a grill tray in about the same amount of time as other vegetables (squash, onion, etc.). However, if you are using potato chunks on a skewer, you should parboil them for about six minutes before grilling.
Experiment with cooking times, seasonings, and vegetable combinations. Whatever you end up doing, you’re sure to end up with a treat that captures the on the plate the delicious essence of your harvest.
Do you have a favorite herb blend you use on your vegetables? Share it with us in the comments.