Monday, August 10, 2009

Grilled Vegetables

After sampling some grilled zucchini at The Taproom, I've been meaning to recreate them on my own. Back home, my mom would throw any vegetable you could think of on the grill and I definitely owe my love of grilled veggies to her. Seared flesh, whether vegetable or animal, is never unwelcome on my grates.

During the work week, I won't get home til about 7 o'clock which doesn't leave a lot of time for finding fresh produce or hitting any of the plethora of farmer's markets in the city. Last week, I was searching for produce stands around the chadds ford area, which is where I work, and came upon a listing of farm stands in the Brandywine Valley. SIW Vegetables is located on south creek rd. just off of route 1, south of 202. During lunch last week, I took a drive to check it out and it was everything I hoped for. Multiple wagon carts held all kinds of just picked veggies and fruits. Knowing me, you can guess I zeroed right in on the tomato cart. Heirlooms, Uglies, Grapes, Jersey's, I was in heaven. Corn on the cob, squash and zucchini soon found their way into my bags as well. I'm ashamed to admit, I've been slacking on the corn on the cob this year and fully intend to make up for it. A ten spot later and I was on my way. This farm will definitely be a weekly trip for me and I'm considering joining their CSA next year.

So onto tonight's grill.

Corn on the cob.
Growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania meant that every summer, you could count on eating corn on the cob multiple times a week. At least in my house anyway. To this day, my parents still have the same propane burner setup and huge aluminum pan that spent as much time poolside as we did. Always full of water, always filled to the brim with dozens of ears of corn.

Now there are a few different ways to cook corn on the cob and everyone has their favorite. My go to method is simple. I will pull the corn husks down but not off and get rid of all the corn silk. Pull the husks back up and recreate the cocoon around the corn. The husk will act as an insulator and keep the corn from scorching.

Once I've got my coals ready, I'll arrange them centrally in grill so I can use the edges of the grate for the corn. Putting the ears directly over the coals will have the heat burning thru the husks in no time so set up your grill however you prefer for indirect heat.

Those are gonna sit and roast for about 20-30 minutes like that. Meanwhile, I sliced up some zucchini and yellow summer squash and hit them with some olive oil from the Misto. The misto is a pump action oil sprayer that Scott found and we both use it religiously. After a quick spray of olive oil, I dusted the veggies with some garlic pepper and set them aside.

Checking on the corn, I'll see if it's starting to shrivel at all and make sure to rotate the ears for even cooking. Hell, take a small bite and see how far along it is. You'll notice the outer layer of husks with start to dry up and brown but the inner layers are still protecting the corn from damage since they're loaded with water. Here I pulled them off and hit them with a blend of butter and olive oil from Olivio that's readily available in any dairy section. Quick season with salt and pepper, pull the husks back up and thrown back on the grill.

Some people will use grill baskets to grill vegetables or smaller items that can fall through the grates but I usually cut whatever I'm grilling longways so I can avoid that. You may lose a few men along the way but it's a price I'm willing to pay for grill marks.

Obviously your cook times will vary depending on how thick you cut the veggies but they don't usually take very long. I had these on for about 10 minutes with a flip in the middle.

End Scene

what are you gonna grill next?


  1. I like the new site name.

    I seriously suggest you do a CSA next year. We got the motherload of tomatoes from ours yesterday. 2 quarts of cherry tomatoes, comprised of 4 different varieties including 2 that I had never seen before. 6 huge plums (went right into my fresh salsa). 5 regular tomatoes, and 3 different kinds of heirlooms. I was doing the tomato dance last night!

  2. Ah man, that's awesome, I'm definitely jealous. Next time I stop in there, I'm gonna talk to them about the CSA.

  3. I am definitely going to use this method for grilling corn, the next time we do. We tried it this weekend for the first time (without really knowing what we were doing) and the results were edible, but not what I'd hoped for. Thanks for the writeup!