It’s hot outside. That makes it hot inside too, and other than going out for dinner, that makes cooking outside pretty much the only option. The idea of turning on the oven is scary, and who wants to turn their kitchen into a Turkish sauna by steaming vegetables on the stovetop?
Cooking our meat and vegetables on the grill is your best bet in the dog days of summer, but not everyone is a fan of grilled vegetables. It’s true, there are those that don’t care for the blackened edges and charred taste of red peppers, portabello mushrooms and onions, and certainly the idea of grilling carrots or green beans or snow peas seems destined to failure. This leaves us with an altogether healthy, delicious and simple solution; steam your veggies on the grill.
Steaming veggies on your barbecue is totally easy, and quick and efficient too. They cook in the usual time it takes to do them on the stovetop, and retain all their nutrients, vivid colour and crunch. Furthermore, you can enjoy vegetables that would be pretty much impossible to grill, like peas, or corn kernels off the cob. Other vegetables that would be a challenge to grill would be broccoli, cauliflower, rapini, snowpeas, and legumes like fava beans or edamame, in or out of the shell.
There are a couple of tricks to steaming vegetables on your grill, but the most important is to make sure your grill is good and hot, but you don’t want the flames licking the grill.
To steam vegetables in a closed foil packet, first slice your vegetables to the desired thickness. Bear in mind that the thicker you slice them, the longer they will take to cook. Large vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli should be broken down into small pieces, and carrots should be sliced, not chunked. Place a large piece of aluminum foil on your table and spray it with cooking oil or drizzle some olive or vegetable oil all over it so the veggies don’t stick.
Place the veggies in the centre of the sheet of foil and curl up the edges of the foil a little. Here you may season them with salt and pepper, and maybe a few shakes of apple cider or red wine vinegar, maybe a squeeze of lemon and a couple tablespoons of water. Now fold the sides of the foil over the vegetables, and then fold the ends toward the centre, making a good seal. Place the packet of veggies on the grill and let it alone for about six to eight minutes. Using tongs, flip the packet over and let it sit for about the same time. Again, the cooking time will vary depending on the size of the packet and the amount of veggies in it. After a total of about twelve to fifteen minutes of steaming, your veggies should be done.
Remove the packet from the grill and set aside. You may take this opportunity to check on the doneness, and put them back on the grill if you think they need a little more time. Otherwise, just leave it be, the packet will keep the veggies good and hot and even finish some of the cooking. Bonus; no pots or pans were dirtied in the preparation of these veggies! Who wants to wash dishes in this humidity?!