Combining the hot sear of a grill with steam's gentle touch is a perfect -- and speedy -- way to add pep to any vegetable side dish.
To do it, heat a nonstick grill pan on your stovetop. Make sure it reaches a high temperature. Toss the vegetables in a dash of olive oil, salt, and pepper, then add them to the pan and let them sit for a minute or two until they've got some grill marks. Once you like what you see, cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and let the vegetables finish cooking. At this point, they'll steam in their own juices.
This approach works best with delicate vegetables that are easy to chop. Think asparagus, broccoli, and summer squash. It's also great for green beans, but you might want to add a bit of liquid to the pan when you start to steam them, since green beans take a little longer to cook than the other veggies.
Grill-steaming could be a great strategy for getting more vegetables on the table this Thanksgiving. After all, this approach takes little time, virtually no energy, and very little equipment. Plus, the flavors that it produces are top-notch, and the veggies look visually stunning when you're done.
Want to give it a try? Here's a free handout with the recipe for grill-steamed asparagus! It was originally a member-exclusive, part of the November edition of the Communicating Food for Health Newsletter, but with the holidays fast approaching, I just had to make it available for everyone! Enjoy!
There are lots of other cooking and holiday resources in the Nutrition Education Store! Don't miss these great educational materials...
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.