Grilling vegetables

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Natural Grocers has some advice for grilling vegetables.

Grilled vegetables 

Summer is the perfect time of year to pump up your diet with fresh produce and, in general, we all need more vegetables in our diet. Salads aren't the only way to increase your intake of summer produce – grilled vegetables are a simple and tasty way to get more veggies in your diet.

There are lots of creative ways to eat grilled vegetables, from grilled romaine salad to cauliflower steaks. Grilling vegetables is easy and the caramelizing flames and touch of smoke elevates the flavor turning basic produce into delicious sides.

There are many vegetables that work well on the grill including;

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • beets
  • Potatoes
  • Green onions
  • Leeks
  • Fennel
  • Romaine Lettuce



Tips for perfecting your grilled veggies

  1. Once you choose your vegetables, start by cutting vegetables into the same thickness for even grilling.
  2. Toss veggies in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Or arrange vegetables on a platter, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide the vegetables by size and density, putting more dense vegetables like cauliflower and carrots onto the grill first and softer veggies like asparagus and zucchini last.
  4. Work in batches (if need be), grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over.
    1. About 8 to 10 minutes (depending on the thickness) for the carrots, bell peppers, onion, cauliflower, and broccoli.
    2. About 7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, fennel and mushrooms.
    3. About 4 minutes for the asparagus, green onions, and Romaine lettuce.
  1. The key to getting great grill marks is to not move the vegetables too frequently once they've been placed on the hot grill.
  2. Once done, arrange the vegetables on a platter. Drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar over top, sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper and serve.


There are many more topping options, including red pepper flakes, fresh and/or dried herbs, rock salt, balsamic vinegar reduction, a premade vinaigrette dressing, BBQ sauce, hot sauce (e.g. siracha, mango habanero salsa, etc.), and more.


Additional Tips 

  1. Keeping it simple, wash and cut the vegetables and place right on the grill.
  2. A grill basket can be helpful to prevent vegetables from falling through the grid.
  3. Kabobs with marinated vegetables are a fun option.
  4. Fruit also grills well (try peaches, apricots, plums and pineapple).

Firecracker Cauliflower

Bring some spice into your summer celebration with this fiery hot BBQ flavored cauliflower dish. Feel free to add more hot sauce than the recipe calls for and let the fireworks begin!

Serves 4-6

15 minutes prep time

20 minutes cook time

35 minutes total time


1 large head cauliflower, sliced into 5 or 6 thin ‘steaks’, 4 cups flowerettes

3 tablespoons olive oil, water or vegetable stock

½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup corn, fresh or frozen

½ cup diced red onion

¾ cup BBQ sauce

1 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste

¾ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon chipotle powder

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

Cilantro sprigs for garnish


1.Preheat the grill. Slice the cauliflower from top to bottom into 5 or 6 ½ inch ‘steaks’. Place olive oil, salt, and pepper into a small bowl and whisk well. Using a basting brush, baste both sides of the cauliflower and grill until char marks appear, and the cauliflower is just tender, approximately 4 minutes on each side depending up on the heat of the grill.

2.Slice the cauliflower into small flowerettes, using 4 cups for this recipe. Place in a large bowl.

3.Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Garnish with cilantro sprigs before serving. Serve warm or room temperature.



You can grill the corn!

Top with toasted pine nuts.

You can also roast the cauliflower instead of grilling it. To do so, Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the cauliflower into small flowerettes. Add to a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until just tender and golden brown, approximately 35 minutes.


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