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Learn to Cook: Grilled Summer Vegetables

What do you get when you combine seasonal vegetables, a simple cooking technique and the great outdoors? Summer-fresh, wallet-friendly and ultra-tasty grilled vegetables! When eggplant, peppers and summer squashes are in season, use a simple cooking method such as grilling to fully enjoy them and benefit from their nutrients. This dish, like all our Health Starts Here recipes, celebrates naturally flavorful whole foods with no extracted oils. Use high heat when grilling vegetables to keep them from sticking without the use of oil.

For a family of four, you can create a delicious variety of grilled seasonal vegetables for as little as $2.27* per serving. The flavor is so fresh and satisfying that you can easily use this as a main course as well as a side to grilled meats. Or, for a little dressier version, follow our tips below to spruce up your grilled veggies.  *Keep in mind, we do our best to estimate the cost of ingredients but slight variations are possible.  

What do I need?

  • 1 green bell pepper, quartered
  • 1 eggplant, cut crosswise into ½″-thick rounds
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered
  • 1 yellow squash, cut crosswise on the bias into ½″-thick slices
  • 1 zucchini, cut crosswise on the bias into ½″-thick slices
  • 2 TB chopped herbs, such as tarragon, thyme and/or basil
  • 2 TB red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • ¼ tsp 365 Everyday Value Fine Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Okay, let’s do this thing!

  1. Preheat grill to high heat.
  2. Working in batches, arrange veggies on the grill and cook, flipping once, until tender and just beginning to char, 3 to 5 minutes for the zucchini and squash, 6 to 8 minutes for the peppers and eggplant.
  3. Spread out to cool slightly on a large baking sheet.
  4. Roughly chop hot veggies into bite-size pieces and toss with herbs, vinegar, salt and pepper on a large platter.
  5. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.

Tips & Tricks

  • Get more flavor from the flames. Cutting veggies into slices that allow for more surface area to touch the grill makes for more golden-brown goodness.
  • Forget the grill marks. Worrying about getting the perfect pattern on grilled foods can result in less-than-perfect overcooked food.
  • Resist the urge to fidget. Once it has hit the grill, handle food as little as possible. Flipping or turning too soon can result in sticking.
  • Give ‘em some space. As you remove veggies from the grill, spread them out on a large baking sheet instead of stacking them, which can cause them to steam and get soggy.

Dress Up Your Grilled Vegetables

  • Brush vegetables with Dijon mustard before grilling.
  • Scatter chopped, toasted nuts and finely chopped shallots over vegetables before serving.
  • Toss whole wheat pasta with grilled vegetables, chopped tomatoes and a sprinkle of crushed red chile pepper.
  • Toss finely chopped grilled vegetables, jalapeños and peaches or nectarines with lime juice to top grilled fish.

See, savoring summer and honoring your health are not mutually exclusive to managing your money. Download coupons, enjoy more fresh food ideas and learn more budget-friendly tips for savings throughout the summer with the May/June/July issue of The Whole Deal! Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite ways to enjoy what’s in season?