In my humble opinion, grilling vegetables is the best way to get them to taste better than they ever could with other cooking methods. Maybe it’s just my addiction to the flavor of char, but veggies that I’m usually “meh” about instantly become incredibly delicious after a trip to the grill. Also, the sugars caramelize, giving them a sweeter, more mellow vegetable flavor.
Maybe it’s the smoky taste, but I feel like grilling makes vegetables feel more substantial, too. This makes them perfect for sandwiches, salads, and a nice hearty side dish. Suffice it to say, I love grilled veggies!
In this recipe, I collected my A-Team of grilling vegetables and they all happen to be traditional Mexican ingredients. Over here, we’ve got our squash– zucchini, yellow squash, and chayote (This one is kind of like a squash and a potato had a deliciously crunchy baby together.). They all become tender and sweet on the grill. Not only that, but they can be cut into large pieces so they don’t get lost between the grates. And in that corner are the chiles, both sweet and spicy. It’s almost like bell peppers and poblanos were created to be grilled. Their smoky cooked flavor is just so undeniably scrumptious. And finally, I chose onion. These bad boys go from tear-jerking intense to sweet and mellow after their trip to the grill. I threw in a dressing made with orange, lime, oregano, and garlic and BADABING– meet my unstoppable team of mouthwatering grilled vegetables. Real talk.
Too little time? Try this hack! Even though it’s June, that doesn’t mean that you will have the liberty of grilling outside. It might be raining or it could be that you’re just too busy to start up the charcoal. Regardless of the reason, you can easily grill these vegetables indoors. Simply use a grill pan. No grill pan? Pop ’em under the broiler. You won’t get as much of the smoky flavor, but it’s okay. I won’t tell anyone.
You could also make the vinaigrette ahead of time for these veggies. This would give the flavors more time to combine, making it more tasty. Simply mix together the orange zest, juice, lime zest, juice, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Heck, you could even pop all of these ingredients in the blender, slowly stream in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and you’ve got yourself a killer citrus salad dressing. Ohh yeahhhh…
How do you like your veggies? Tell us the whole story! See you soon!
- 1 red onion, peeled and sliced ½-inch thick
- 1 poblano chile, seeded and cut into long, wide strips
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into long, wide strips
- 1 orange belle pepper, seeded and cut into long, wide strips
- 2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise about ⅓-inch thick
- 2 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise about ⅓-inch thick
- 2 chayotes, quartered lengthwise, core removed (like an apple), then sliced ¼-inch thick
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan over high heat.
- Place the onion slices on a flat surface. Take 2 toothpicks and carefully insert into the sides it reaches the middle of the slice. Insert the other toothpick into the opposite side of the onion until it reaches the middle. This will secure the layers of the onion during grilling.
- Place the onions, poblano, yellow and orange bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, and chayote in a large bowl and drizzle with the vegetable oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then toss to evenly coat.
- Place the vegetables on the grill and cook until charred and tender, about 5-10 minutes. The zucchini and yellow squash will be done first, followed by the poblano and bell peppers, then the chayote, and finally the onion.
- Transfer the grilled vegetables to a cutting board. Carefully cut the poblano pieces into a small dice. The poblano is less sweet than the other ingredients and therefore should be cut into small pieces. Cut the other vegetables, if desired, into smaller pieces.
- Place the grilled vegetables in a large bowl and add the orange juice, zest, lime juice, zest, garlic oregano, and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine, then serve immediately.