DON'T overlook and don't overcook vegetables when it comes to grilling. Today everything is fair game, from asparagus to zucchini. Most backyard chefs use their own ideas as to skewering, wrapping in foil, or just brushing with butter, but there are special recipes, too. Often just an added aromatic gives a slightly different flavor. Try mixing soft butter with such things as chopped olives and capers, or curry and chutney, or chopped garlic and parsley. Spread on vegetables before or after grilling.
Grilled vegetables are especially good because the dry intense heat seals the outside and heightens the natural flavor. You don't always need to peel them, because the skins often become crispy and delicious. Parboiling can be a help for long-cooking or large vegetables, but don't do it if it will make the vegetable too soft. Corn: Carefully pull down the husks to remove the silk. Then pull the husks back in place and tie them securely at the top with a piece of husk or string. Soak them in water 10 to 15 minutes, squeeze out water, and grill about 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Carrots: When grilled, they're slightly crisp on the outside and light and fluffy inside. Scrub them and pat them dry; rub them with oil and grill them whole for about 25 minutes (for medium-size carrots), turning often. Squash: All varieties are good grilled. Halve them lengthwise, or slice and skewer them. Zucchini, if small, can be rubbed with oil and grilled whole. Yellow or crookneck squash is fine, and so is pattypan squash, which can be sliced crosswise, making two rounds. Rub with oil before grilling. Eggplants, peppers, onions, sweet potatoes, turnips, okra -- even tomatoes -- can all be brushed with oil and grilled, either whole or as slices or cubes. Watch vegetables closely, because they cook quickly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired and serve.
Firm textured vegetables such as eggplants, potatoes, squash, and onions are best for slicing, but you must use your own judgment.
Slice long vegetables lengthwise. Broad potatoes and large onions can be sliced crosswise. Try to expose as much of the cut surface to the grill as possible.
A wire grilling basket is a handy gadget for grilling several vegetables in one time, and makes turning easier. Grilled Broccoli Parma Style 3 large uniform stems broccoli, about 11/2 pounds 1/3 cup olive oil Juice of 1 large lemon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
With sharp knife, carefully trim leafy stems from broccoli and peel stalks, smoothing bumps as you peel. Trim all but 31/2 inches of stalk from each stalk of broccoli.
Hold each stalk with flowerets down vertically on a cutting board and cut each stalk in half, slicing right through each of the flowerets.
Place broccoli in a large glass or ceramic dish of your choosing. Then, combine oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix them well and pour them over the broccoli before tossing.
Toss to coat. Let stand covered 30 minutes.
Just before grilling, toss broccoli once more and sprinkle cheese evenly over both sides.
Cover and cook with vents open over medium, direct heat (use outer edges of the grid) 10 minutes per side. Serves 4 to 6. Lettuce and Cheese Pancakes 20 separated lettuce leaves (2 to 3 small heads Bibb or Boston lettuce) 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1/4 pound smoked mozzarella cheese (without rind), grated Salt and freshly ground pepper
Wash lettuce leaves. Pat them dry with paper towels. Arrange the 10 leaves, overlapping them , in a circle over the bottom of a lightly oiled, hinged grill basket.
Combine oil and vinegar. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of this mixture over lettuce leaves. Sprinkle grated cheese over lettuce.
Then, you can sprinkle cheese with salt and pepper to taste.
Place 5 lettuce leaves over the top of the cheese. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon oil and vinegar mixture. Place remaining leaves on top.
Sprinkle with another tablespoon oil and vinegar mixture. Turn basket over and sprinkle other side with mixture.
Grill the lettuce pancake, in the basket, over hot or high, direct heat 2 minutes.
Turn over and grill 3 minutes longer. Serve immediately, cut into wedges, or allow to cool slightly before serving.