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Food

Eat your veggies!

Find a new use for your grill and unlock new flavors

Posted

‘Tis the season — for grill scraping and sirloin marinating on patios throughout the state.

But not for vegetarians, who often end up buying the same frozen veggie burger, not eating or not showing up at all to these meat-centralized social events.

Andy Floyd, executive chef at Kitchen Table Cooking School in Greenwood Village, believes that an entire category of food is being ignored: vegetables.

“When you start to put different vegetables on the grill, you have a whole new category to experiment with,” Floyd said. “Anything you pick up in the produce section can have a place on the grill.”

Floyd has taught culinary arts for 18 years. He started teaching after working in the industry for 10 years, in three-star Michelin restaurants in France and Washington, D.C.

Anything that can be cooked on the stove can be cooked on a grill, Floyd said.

Grilling any food, Floyd said, gives it a distinguishable char from high-heat searing and generates a taste not found in any other cooking method.

“You get this whole different flavor profile that you don’t get on the stove,” Floyd said. “You start to think of combining other vegetables as the main event.”

Throughout his cooking career, Floyd’s experiments on the grill have led to some delicious discoveries. Here, he shares his favorite ways to grill veggies.

Cutting a potato in half, season it with oils and spices, then grill it on each side. If you lightly mash the potato into the grill, Floyd said, there will be more charred flavoring.

After salting slices of eggplant, Floyd adds olive oil and grills until the slices are charred on each side. This is one of his favorite vegetables to grill.

When these veggies are grilled, their natural sugars create a caramelized char on the vegetable. Cut them into chunks.

These are a “no brainer” when it comes to grilling veggies, Floyd said. These mushrooms absorb liquids well, allowing them to hold endless flavors.

After peeling off the outer skin, cut the onion in half along the outer equator. Put powdered bouillon, vinegar, salt and pepper on the inside. Close up the onion and grill inside aluminum foil. For an extra kick, Floyd recommends sprinkling some miso paste in the onion.

Floyd recommends chopping vegetables into fine pieces and mixing them with eggs and panko to create a veggie burger.

Fill a pocket of aluminum foil with woodchips that have been soaked in water for a few hours. Put the pocket with the woodchips inside the grill between the two burners to create a smoking process.

Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, asparagus, parsnips are also good vegetables to grill.

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