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From the Garden to the Grill

By: Nan Jensen, FCS Agent

Bring out the flavor of that fresh summer produce by cooking it on the grill. Whether you cook the fruits and veggies directly on the grill rack, skewer them into kabobs or use a special grilling pan for smaller slices, grilling can bring out the flavor and liven up your summer meals. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your grilling experience.
Shrimp and Pineapple Shish Kebabs

Marinate vegetables to add flavor. A little orange juice along with some olive oil, cilantro and red pepper flakes can give your veggies an extra kick or try some fresh ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil for an Asian inspired side dish.

Enhance the flavor of fruits by brushing with butter and adding cinnamon, brown sugar or lemon juice. Because sugar can burn, add toward the end of the cooking process.

Cut fruits and vegetables into uniform sizes to ensure that all pieces get done at the same time.

Vegetable cooking spray or a small amount of vegetable oil makes grilled vegetables and fruits easier to turn and prevents them from sticking.

Cook fruits using indirect heat and vegetables over medium heat. Since not all vegetables cook at the same rate, consider lightly steaming root vegetables like potatoes or carrots in the microwave before adding them to a summer vegetable mixture or kebab.

Keep a close eye on your fruits and vegetables because cooking times vary.