There is no reason why carnivores should have all the fun during summer grilling season. Veggie kabobs are healthy and delicious, and so easy to make that even the youngest members of your grilling party can get in on the action.
First of all, make sure you have appropriate grilling skewers. If you don't own or want to buy metal skewers, opt for the bamboo ones, which are inexpensive and easy to find in most supermarkets with the kitchen supplies. Just be sure to soak the bamboo skewers in water for about an hour before you grill, which will help keep them from charring.
Choose vegetables and thread skewers:
Which veggies do you choose? Visit your local farmers market and get inspired by what is fresh and in season. Choose a color palate that reflects the summertime bounty, and be sure to choose some of the more flavorful vegetables (like onions and peppers) to spice things up on your skewer:
• Cherry Tomatoes: Perfect as is! These red guys will cook the fastest, so make sure they are on the very end of your skewer so that you can shove them over the fire gradually as the rest of the k-bob cooks.
• Zucchini & Summer Squash: Remove stems and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks.
• Corn on the Cob – De-silk and break or cut into the smallest chunks possible, 1 1/2 to 2 inches long.
• Onions – Choose pearl onions or cut larger purple, white or yellow onions into wedges about 1 ½ inches wide.
• Bell Peppers – Red, green, yellow or orange – choose your favorite and cut into 1 ½ inch wedges.
• Potatoes – Potatoes are tricky since they take so long to cook. Choose the smallest Yukon Gold or fingerling potatoes you can find, or just cut up larger potatoes into 1 inch pieces. Boil until tender, about 6-7 minutes before adding them to your veggie mix.
• Button Mushrooms – Wash, slice off the end of the stem and you are ready to go!
• Artichoke hearts – Ready to go!
• Eggplant – Cut into 1" cubes, salt and let sit for ½ hour. Pat dry and then add to the marinade.
After chopping your vegetables, marinate them for 1-4 hours (up to overnight) in your choice of sauce before threading them onto the skewers, alternating the vegetables. If you have little hands helping you (or don't want to get messy), feel free to thread the dry veggies onto the skewers and then place them in a plastic baggie with your marinade, holding everything together in a larger pan in case the sharp skewers pierce the plastic.
Choose your favorite marinade recipe:
Mediterranean marinade: Combine ½ cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 2 teaspoons dried oregano and 2 cloves of garlic, minced.
Classic garlic marinade: Mix together 1 cup of butter, 6 cloves of garlic (minced), 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Savory marinade: Combine ½ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons oregano, 2 teaspoons basil, ½ teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper + one crushed garlic clove.
Since you aren't including meat, you can save the marinade sauce to baste the veggie k-bobs as they are grilling. Grill each skewer 15 to 25 minutes, until the vegetables are all tender but not burned.
Remove from the heat and enjoy your summer dish! Veggie k-bobs go well with a side of grilled beans, fresh baked bread and a cool glass of homemade sangria!