Vegetables are a great choice for a barbecue and once you start grilling veggies over an open fire, the possibilities are endless.
While most vegetables do very well on the grill, corn on the cob, asparagus, eggplant, red, green and gold bell peppers, onions and mushrooms are perennial favorites.
Not so great grilling options would be those with high moisture content, such as leafy greens, celery and cucumbers.
Choose fresh vegetables that are still firm to the touch with bright skin without bruises or blemishes.
Stagger adding the various types of vegetables according to the amount of cooking time needed for each. For instance, corn on the cob will invariably take longer to cook than eggplant, onions, peppers or zucchini.
Vegetables will cook more evenly and are less likely to char or stick to the grill if they are first marinated or tossed with a little olive oil. Add fresh chopped herbs to the olive oil for flavor and visual appeal.
You can marinate vegetables in your favorite salad dressing like Balsamic Vinaigrette or Sesame Ginger or combine a 1/2 cup of olive oil with 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar.
The smoky flavor of fresh vegetables tossed in oil and exposed to an open flame is unlike anything else. You may want to make extra as leftover veggies cooked in this way add wonderful flavor notes to soups, salads, sandwiches and even pizza.
You can toss the prepared vegetables on the grill or combine a selection that includes tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, zucchini and yellow squash.
Toss the vegetables with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs and transfer them to a grill pan. Grill the mixture stirring frequently, until the veggies are caramelized and tender.
Roasting whole heads of garlic lends itself very well to the open grill and is a faster and more energy efficient method than a conventional oven.
The exquisite transformation that takes place when a head of garlic is roasted is a culinary wonder. The result is a mellow, creamy and positively heavenly spread that is delightful on thick slices of sourdough carefully toasted on the grill.
Set aside a square of aluminum foil sufficient to wrap each head of garlic for the grill. Simply peel the papery outer covering from the head of garlic and slice about ½ inch off the top to expose the inside of each garlic clove.
Place each head on the aluminum foil and drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over the bulbs and fold the foil to close over the head of garlic. Place the foil wrapped garlic directly on the grill and cook for about 20 minutes or until cloves are soft.
Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV, Follow Marie on Twitter