Grilled vegetables are a delicious side for BBQ chicken, lean beef burgers, kabobs or other light summer dishes. However, if you're craving grilled food and the weather isn't cooperating, don't worry. If you've got a toaster oven and a few basic ingredients, you can make savory, soft-crunchy grilled vegetables any time of year. A few tricks will ensure your success.
- 1 pound zucchini, winter squash, potatoes, green beans, or other firm vegetables
- Cutting board
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
You can also grill onions using this technique.
Discard any extra garlic-infused oil right after using. If allowed to sit at room temperature for an extended period of time, garlic oil can cause botulism poisoning.
Peel and slice your vegetables into slices at least 1/4 inch thin. Thin vegetables cook quickly, making them a good choice for small cooking devices such as toaster ovens. If using green beans, omit this step and simply snip off the ends of the beans.
Crush a garlic clove and place it and your oil in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to infuse the flavor. Place your toaster oven's rack on the lowest or second-lowest position, and turn the toaster oven on to broil.
Brush your vegetables with the garlic-infused olive oil. Drizzle any remaining oil onto your toaster oven pan and use a heat-proof basting brush to spread the oil over the pan. Brushing with oil, a trick recommended by "Cooks Illustrated" magazine, encourages caramelization, creating an attractive grilled color on your vegetables.
Allow the vegetables to cook for 5 minutes, or until they just begin to brown. Then, pull the tray out, using potholders or oven mitts to protect your hands, and sprinkle with salt. Turn the vegetables and continue to cook until crisp-tender. Since salt flavors better when it does not fully dissolve, this increases the flavor of your veggies.
Allow your vegetables to cool for about 2 to 3 minutes before serving when preparing the vegetables during warm weather months. During the winter, grilled vegetables taste good straight from the toaster oven.
Things You'll Need
- "Cooks Illustrated"; Top Five Vegetable Grilling Principles; June-July 2011
- Fine Cooking: Kosher vs. Table Salt
- Oregon State University: Food Safety and Preparation -- Herbs and Vegetables in Oil
Melanie Greenwood has been a freelance writer since 2010. Her work has appeared in "The Denver Post" as well as various online publications. She resides in northern Colorado and she works helping to care for elderly and at-risk individuals. Greenwood holds a Bachelor of Arts in pastoral leadership from Bethany University in California.