Cooking on the grill is a great way to beat the heat because you don’t have to fire up the stove and heat up your kitchen. Meat is a prime candidate for the grill, but you can also cook your side dishes outside so you don’t have to use the stove at all. Here are some side dish options.
Vegetables are a natural option for the grill. Most veggies grill well and have a lot more flavor that they do if you steam or boil them. Cooking the veggies kabob style is an easy way to grill them. Plus they’re ready to serve right away since they’re already cut into pieces. Mushrooms, peppers and onions work well on kabobs. You can do them on skewers with the meat, or just do skewers of the veggies that you serve on the side.
One of my family’s favorite grilled side dishes is asparagus. Grilled asparagus has such a great flavor — much better than the flavor when it is cooked on the stove. Brush a little olive oil all over the asparagus spears. Sprinkle on salt, pepper and whatever other seasonings you like. It doesn’t take long to grill the green veggie. Just grill it long enough to soften it slightly and leave some char marks.
Another veggie that works well on the grill is corn on the cob. Start by soaking the whole corn cob, including the husks, in a bucket of sugar water. Let it soak at least a few hours. Then put the cobs with the husks still on directly on the grill. Cook until the corn is tender.
Potatoes also take on a wonderful grilled flavor when cooked outdoors. Any type of potato will work. We like to use Yukon Gold or red potatoes. Cut the potatoes up into chunks so they grill faster. Use a grilling tray so the potatoes don’t fall through the grate. Toss them in some oil and your favorite seasonings. If the potatoes start to get too dark on the outside but aren’t cooked through, put them in the oven to finish them up.
Another option is to cook the potato pieces in foil on the grill. They won’t get the grill lines. Instead, they basically steam inside the foil. You can add cheese, green onions and other toppings in the foil packets once the potatoes are mostly cooked.
Another side option that works well on the grill is flatbread. Use your favorite flatbread dough and roll it out into slabs. Brush the dough with some olive oil so it doesn’t stick. Grill it until it has grill marks and is baked through.
You can also use the grill to heat up flatbread that is already cooked. Brush the cooked flatbread with some olive oil. Put it on the grill until it gets slightly charred.