Fruit & Vegetable Grilling Tips | CUESA

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Fruit & Vegetable Grilling Tips


Pam Mazzola, Prospect

I often make the mistake of not lighting my grill soon enough if I am using coal or mesquite. The coals should at the point where they are burning brightly but not shooting flames. A slow hot burn is better than leaping flames (although dramatic, it is a great way to burn everything). Make sure your grates are liberally greased. 

Avocado: Don’t try this if your avocado is really ripe. Cut it in half, remove the pit, score the skin from top to bottom,  and peel the skin off. Cut each half into 3 pieces, squeeze lemon over them, and season with salt and pepper. Place on a hot grill until marks appear, then turn over until charred on the other side. Great with fresh tomatoes or on a salad.  

Lettuce: Little Gems are not just for salads; they make a wonderful side vegatable for steaks, fish, or chicken. Cut the lettuce in half. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place flat side down on grill until charred. Flip over and cook for 30 seconds. Season with a squeeze of lemon or top with your favorite dressing and croutons. 

Fruit: I am a fan of grilling fruit! It takes something that is thought of as a dessert and turns it into a savory accent. If your stone fruit is really ripe, do not bother. It will turn into a sticky mess on the grill. Cut the fruit in half and gently remove the pit. Cut each half into thirds and grill both sides over a hot flame for about 30 seconds a side. You can turn this into a chutney by cutting the fruit into large chunks, and adding a little diced jalapeño, vinegar, and sugar to taste. Finish with your favorite fresh herb. Great on pork, chicken, or tofu! 

Carrots: Let’s talk about charred carrots: they are delicious! Scrub your carrots (no need to peel), put them on a hot grill, and cook until they are charred on all sides. You can slice them and have a the dramatic effect of a bright orange center and a charred outside, or just serve them whole. Make a pesto out of the tops to spoon over the carrots and serve.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »