The grill is out and available; I’m gonna GRILL!
I use a charcoal grill — you can use any sort of grill you have available. What you want is to have is a “direct heat” area and an “indirect heat” area — on a charcoal grill you can manage this by putting your hot coals on one side of the grill and leaving the other side empty. And, close the grill lid while cooking. On the better propane grills this can also be modified by how you set the flame — you can make one half of the propane grill be hotter than the other half. Again, close the lid while cooking.
PS: use a charcoal chimney to avoid that nasty “lighter fluid” thing, if going the charcoal route.
The root veggies in my house were:
Turnips. Sweet potatoes. Parsnips.
The thing to remember is that different types of root vegetables have different factors of solidity. You can either cut them all the same relative size, but cook them different times, OR, best yet, cut them up to reflect that sweet potatoes cook faster and turnips cook slower. Larger chunks of sweet potatoes, smaller chunks of turnips, really small chunks of celeriac root, if that happens to be handy. Or, in my case, I don’t mind mushy sweet potatoes, so I didn’t make that much of a distinction when chopping.
Parsnips fall somewhere in between, but note that if the diameter is much more than an inch, parsnips get a bit pithy and not so nice to eat. Pithy is fine in comments; not so good when it’s pithy parsnips…
Note: Come up with whatever veggie combo suits your fancy — or what’s currently in your fridge or pantry.
Prep time: Around 25 minutes. If using charcoal with the charcoal chimney, prep the veggies while the coals get lit. If using propane or other, prep the veggies, then light up your grill.
Cook time: Around 25 minutes over high direct heat. Check them, though.
Rest time: Just don’t burn yourself.
Serves: Two. as a main, with a side salad. I wouldn’t serve this for two, without anything else.
Root Veggies on the Grill
* 3 medium parsnips, peeled and ends trimmed off.
* 4 mid-sized turnips, ends trimmed off and any brown bits removed.
* 1/2 sweet potato, regular to large size, mostly peeled, and any roots or end tips removed.
* About 2 teaspoons avocado (or other high-heat) oil.
* 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil for extra flavor.
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom. Umm, maybe more?
* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. I use Trader Joe’s. You can up this, too.
* Optional dried rosemary, which I didn’t have this weekend, but which I’ve used other times. Sprinkle in a few sprigs.
* Salt and ground pepper to taste.
* And of course, any root veggie substitutions you’d like to use.
Slice up the veggies, but pay attention to cooking time.
Layer them out in aluminum foil, add the cooking oil and all the seasonings, keeping the layer of veggies relatively flat. They can overlap a bit, but we want these guys to cook through. I find using my hands to mix the oil and seasonings through everything helps. Have enough foil available that you can wrap them up, top and bottom. Indeed, wrap them up!
If you have more veggies than I list above, make a second foil pouch for those, with their own oil and seasonings. There’s a limit to what one pouch can do.
With a fork, poke holes into the foil on top and bottom, enough to bring in smoke and flavor, but not so much that the pouches might fall apart.
Place on hot grill, direct heat. Wait around 15-20 minutes, and flip with grilling tongs. Another ten minutes, depending on how you chopped the veggies, you should be ready. Open the foil just enough to poke with a fork to test for your preferred level of done-ness. If you can poke the veggies, they’ll probably be done for most palates. Reserve them on the indirect side if needed, if anything else is also cooking.