BOSTON — Most vegetables can simply be brushed with olive oil - either plain or flavored - and sprinkled with salt and ground pepper before grilling. Cooking times vary according to temperature, whether you cook with a covered grill, and your preference for doneness. Remember, grilling is an art, not a science.
Run a toothpick through several asparagus spears, top and bottom. Brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill 10 to 15 minutes.
Cut onions in half. Brush with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Grill cut-side up for about 10 minutes, turn, grill for another 8 minutes, turn, brush again with oil and vinegar and grill until onions soften and begin to caramelize.
Slice unpeeled eggplant into 1/4-inch thick circles. Brush both sides with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic or onion salt and ground pepper. Grill 5 minutes per side.
Buy the largest portabello mushrooms you can. With a sharp knife, make small slits in the mushrooms and insert slivers of fresh garlic. Brush with olive oil and grill 5 to 7 minutes per side.
Peel and core a fresh pineapple. Cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Sprinkle with brown sugar and grill until hot, turning once. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Dust with cinnamon.
Try grilling fresh firm fruit such as bananas, peaches, pears, plums, or figs. Cut them in halves and brush them with a mixture of equal parts honey and mustard. Grilled figs are especially fine wrapped in paper-thin slices of prosciutto.