A marinade can turn an otherwise plain veggie into a gourmet treat, and your friends will be begging you for the recipe! A marinade is a dressing-like cream or liquid that can be made up of oils, vinegars, juices, and any spices or flavourings that you want.
You can either soak the veggies ahead of time in a marinade to try to infuse them with certain flavours, or it can be something that you can brush directly onto the veggies as you are grilling them. Marinades are great because you can start to get creative and play around.
Because veggies dry out on the grill and may stick to the grate, a little oil is the foundation of the best marinade for grilled vegetables. Extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point than most oils, so try virgin or pomace rather than extra virgin. Avocado oil has a soft nutty flavour and a high smoke point that makes it an excellent choice for cooking at high temperatures. Feel free to experiment with other oils that give more diverse flavours, such as macadamia, hazelnut and walnut oils.
A simple marinade for grilled vegetables that always tastes spectacular can be made from mixing some finely chopped fresh garlic, a squeeze of lemon, a little sea salt, and as many chopped up fresh herbs as you can get your hands on. Add these to your oil base. For a little more kick, add some finely chopped chilies or some fresh ginger.
For a refreshing and zingy marinade for grilled vegetables that is great for summer, try making a mixture of olive oil, orange juice, grated lemon zest, fresh cilantro and some red pepper flakes. A splash of coconut milk is a great way to mix up this recipe to make it taste totally different yet just as delicious.
For an Asian flavoured marinade that is well-suited to broccoli, peppers, greens and asparagus, make a mixture that includes some soy sauce, rice vinegar and lots of fresh ginger. Add a little sesame oil but be aware that this oil has a very strong flavour and you’ll only need a small amount. A lightly flavoured oil such as rice bran oil is a good choice to pad out the base of an Asian style marinade for grilled vegetables.
Take the liberty to experiment with how to grill vegetables, as you never know what you may come up with by accident! There is no right or wrong, and remember, cooking healthy should be fun!