Seasoning adds interest and depth of flavor to grilled vegetables, whether you grill outdoors on a barbecue or indoors in a ridged grill pan. Expand your grilled vegetable repertoire by using the veggies in salads, soups and pasta dishes in addition to serving them as sides either hot or at room temperature. If you plan to grill soft vegetables, such as mushrooms, eggplant or summer squash, add flavor by marinated the vegetables for 20 minutes for even more flavor.
The Essential Seasoning
Salt enhances the flavor of foods and offsets any bitterness in the vegetables. Large grain or coarse salts, such as kosher or sea salt, allow you to benefit from salt's flavor without adding as much sodium as table salt, while flavored salts, such as smoked salt or lemon salt, typically use regular table salt. Toss your vegetables with olive oil and salt before cooking and add a light sprinkling of pepper after the veggies come off the grill.
Herbs and Sauces
Chopped fresh herbs, herb butters and sauces made from herbs add fresh flavors when sprinkled on at the end of grilling. Dried herbs, such as oregano or thyme, add less freshness but will also work. For seasoning sauces, try pesto sauces with garlic and either basil or parsley, a soy-based sauce with ginger and scallions or a citrus sauce with lemon or orange zest.
Sumac, a Middle Eastern spice with a slight citrus flavor and a little heat, pairs well with any vegetable. Use it along with salt and pepper, mix it with thyme or use it in a yogurt sauce. Other ethnic options include Jamaican jerk seasoning, with pepper, thyme, cayenne, allspice, garlic and ginger; or a Southwest veggie grill with cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika. Wait until the vegetables come off the grill to season them.
Seasonings at Hand
Many prepared dry seasoning blends meant for dips, sauces or salad dressing also work as seasoning for vegetables, either sprinkled on after grilling or blended with butter, oil or yogurt and used as a sauce. Experiment with ranch blends, honey mustard or Italian herb blends. Or try blends meant for meat, such as spicy blends and soy-based blends if you want to give the vegetables an extra boost of flavor.
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- You may need to precook denser vegetables like potatoes or winter squash before grilling.
- Herbs and spices lose their flavor over time. Toss anything that has been sitting on the shelf for more than one year.
- Food may be extremely hot immediately off the grill. Season and cool slightly before serving.
- Jocelyn Vodnik/Demand Media