Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, UNL Extension in Lancaster County
If you've limited the use of your kitchen double-sided grill (i.e. George Foreman grill, etc.) to grilling meats, following are some quick ideas for grilling fruits and vegetables. Check your instruction book for exact times and directions for your grill — here are some general guidelines:
- Slice foods the same width so they get done in the same amount of time. Firmer fruits and vegetables work best.
- Slice foods about 1/2 to 1 inch thick (or as recommended in your directions) so both sides of the grill touch the food when it is closed. Pat the foods dry with a clean paper towel or kitchen towel.
- If one side of the food is flat and the other side is rounded, place the flat side downward on the preheated grill so decorative grill marks show up on it. Leave about a half inch of space between pieces of fruit or vegetables so they cook and brown — not steam — on the grill.
- Follow the directions that come with your grill for preventing foods from sticking to it — for example, some grills recommend spraying the grill with nonstick cooking spray. Coating both sides of the fruit or vegetable lightly with oil also also will help prevent sticking. (Use a very mild-flavored oil with fruits.) An easy way to coat them is to dump them into a bowl, add a little oil and stir until they are coated.
- Test whether foods, such as vegetables and fruits, are grilled until tender-crisp by inserting the tip of a sharp knife (such as a paring knife) into them.
- Begin checking whether fruits and vegetables are done before the recommended grilling time is up.