The barbecue isn’t just for meat anymore. Hasn’t been for quite some time. There is ample room for everyone to get along; meat, fish, vegetables – they can all happily coexist on the barbecue. After all, they all share one common goal; to taste good and satisfy your desire for a mouth-watering barbecued meal.

Just as the grill can impart wondrous barbecue flavors to the meat sizzling above the flames or the coals, so too can vegetables be affected by the smoky aromatics and flavor.

Grilling vegetables is just as easy as grilling a few burgers, but you may want to invest in a vegetable tray. They come in many shapes and sizes, but essentially it is a tray you can place onto the barbecue grill which will hold the vegetables, keeping them from falling between the slats of the grill, and riddled with small holes or smaller slats throughout to allow the flames and the heat to reach the vegetables.

However, a quick and painless solution is to simply lay some tin foil over the grill and roast your vegetables on that. This will also allow you to drizzle on olive oil, teriyaki sauce, or other marinades onto the vegetables as they cook, without worrying about it dripping through to the flames below.

In fact, one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables on the barbecue is in a giant sealed packet of tin foil. You can use any combination of vegetables you like. I typically use broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini, with slices of onion scattered throughout.

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To start, lay out two large sheets of tin foil, placed on on top of the other. Turn up the edges, and drizzle some olive oil into the middle. Then, place the vegetables onto the foil. Drizzle again with olive oil, and add minced garlic, and any desired herbs, such as thyme or oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Then pull up the edges of the foil around the vegetables, and use another piece to place on top and wrap around, completely sealing the vegetables within the foil packet.

Place the packet on a grill over high heat for approx. 30-40 minutes. After removing from the grill, open the packet carefully to avoid the hot steam, and serve the vegetables on plates or in one large bowl. The vegetables will be hot and tender, with marvelous flavors imparted by the barbecue, the garlic, and whatever herbs or spices may have been added. In fact, me and my wife find it difficult to make vegetables in any other manner during the summer.

But occasionally, I have a craving for vegetables that are truly grilled, right over the flames. The heavenly aroma of sizzling vegetables just beginning to char is like barbecued ambrosia. I could never touch asparagus any other way than on the grill. The scintillating flavor dispels any myths about asparagus being dull, bitter and bland, especially when first marinated with a little bit of soy sauce, lemon juice, and basil, and garlic.

You don’t necessarily need a tray for this, you can lay the asparagus across the slats of the grill. You can grill them plain if you like, with some salt and pepper to taste, or you can first first pop them into a ziplock bag with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and basil and garlic to taste. Seal and shake the bag until thoroughly coated, then remove and place on the grill over medium heat. You will need to grill the asparagus for approx. 20-30 minutes, depending on desired doneness. Twenty minutes should give you a nicely crisp vegetable, nicely browned, just beginning to wilt. Thirty minutes will result in a softer asparagus. You will need to turn the asparagus often to avoid charring any one side.

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Last but not least, everyone’s favorite companion for barbecued meats, corn on the cob. This method of grilled corn on the cob requires you to first butter the corn, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and basil and oregano. Wrap the corn tightly in tin foil, and place on the grill over medium-high heat. Grill the corn for approximately twenty minutes, turning occasionally. When done, be careful when opening the foil, and enjoy the surprisingly fresh, delicious herbed, already buttered corn on the cob. Corn will never be the same.

These simple ideas are just the beginning. You may find yourself devoting more time to grilling vegetables and less time with meat this summer. Experiment with all manner of vegetables, creating such flavorful dishes as grilled sweet onions, grilled zucchini, even grilled potatoes. The barbecue is a magical tool, enhancing the flavor of everything that touches its enchanted grill. Use it well.