Your Guide to Grilling Pennsylvania Veggies

July 1, 2018

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Photo by Linda Schneider

Summer grilling is a great opportunity to think outside the bun! Pennsylvania is overflowing with farmers’ and growers’ markets, where you can stock up on locally grown grill-ready veggies to please any palate and serve any crowd.

In our digital age, a crop of solid grilling info is just a quick web search away, but there’s still no replacement for asking an expert. We caught up with Kristin Butterworth, chef de cuisine at Lautrec of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA, for her thoughts on grilling great summer vegetables.

Meet the Chef

Chef Kristin ButterworthPhoto by Adam Milliron

Chef Kristin is no stranger to the connection between the farm and the plate, having grown up in western Pennsylvania. Long before earning accolades include numerous Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond awards, she learned to grow, pick, prepare and preserve vegetables in her family kitchen. “This is the time of year that if I’m home I do a lot of grilling … [and] simplicity is key,” says Chef Kristin. “Being able to take these beautiful fresh vegetables and literally just pick them out of the garden [and cook them] is ideal. Cooking outside is an escape for everybody … to get out, enjoy the sunshine and really highlight the amazing fresh produce that we have going on in the area.” “I’m infatuated with grilled sweet potatoes,” Chef Kristin gushes. “We work closely with one of our local farms and get them in [the summer]. They’re absolutely amazing this time of year because the heat makes them really sweet and not as starchy. We pair them with Amish feta, jalapeno-infused honey and cilantro. I could eat this every day.” Check out Chef Kristin Butterworth’s recipe for Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Jalapeno Honey.

Veggie Grilling Tips

Chef Kristin helped us assemble a list of grilling tips to help you elevate and accentuate your farm-fresh Pennsylvania produce. Get your outdoor cookware ready and prepare to serve up some stellar veggies as we celebrate PA Produce Month!

Photos by Linda Schneider

  • First, go local when shopping for veggies! With the abundance of amazing produce that comes from Pennsylvania farms, there’s no reason not to enjoy the local freshness and bounty of the summer season.
  • Most vegetables, especially with grilling, are delicate. It’s about handling them with care. Sweet potatoes in particular, since they’re already cooked, will be more tender and fragile. The same is true for zucchini, squash and asparagus.
  • Oil the grill grates with a high-heat oil before you heat up the grill, but not so much that it drips and catches flame. Wipe off any excess with a paper towel. This will create a natural non-stick coating.
  • Make sure the grill is hot enough before you put anything on it. That is key so that nothing sticks.
  • Try to cut veggies all the same size, or select similarly sized ones if you’re leaving them whole. This will ensure that they all cook at the same rate.
  • Cook veggies just long enough to get a nice smokey flavor. Squash and asparagus can take about 10 minutes, while peppers and onions may take twice as long. Turn the vegetable over as it begins to get grill marks and cook until soft—not limp.
  • Par-cooking certain vegetables and then finishing them on the grill can save time. Try this with firm, dense or starchy veggies like potatoes, carrots and corn.
  • Start directly over the flame to kiss the vegetable with grill marks, soften the outside and add smoky flavor. Once you’ve gotten the char you want, move the veggies to indirect heat if they need more time to finish cooking inside.
  • A grill basket gives you a versatility similar to stovetop cooking. Baskets let you cut veggies smaller, which means they take less time to cook. Heat the basket up with the grill ahead of time before adding vegetables to it—if your vegetables sizzle when added, the basket is hot enough.

Show your support for local by submitting your thoughts and feedback here.

Written by Nathan Greenwood

August is PA Produce Month.  #PAVeggies

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  • When corn is in season, we’ll do whatever we can to enjoy it in as many meals as possible, which is why we love this Crustless, Cheesy Corn Quiche Recipe. Enjoy more #paveggies ideas and #homegrownhappiness at paveggies.org. 
4 Ears of Corn – large, fresh, husked and cut off (or 3 c. frozen com, thawed)
1/3 c. Onion – chopped
1 T Butter
3 Eggs
2 c. Light Cream
1 c. Flour
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Garlic – fresh, minced
2 T. Parsley – dried (or 1/4 c. fresh)
1/4 c. Parmesan Cheese- grated
2 c. Sharp Cheddar Cheese – shredded
2 oz. jar Pimentos – chopped, drained
2 tsp. Parsley – dried – for top
1 tsp. Paprika – for top
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 10 in. quiche dish with cooking spray. Saute onions in butter and set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs, cream, and flour until completely mixed. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, parmesan cheese, and 1-1/2 c. cheddar cheese. Mix well. Blend in corn and pimentos. Pour into prepared quiche dish and sprinkle the top with the rest of the cheddar cheese, parsley, and paprika. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut and serve. Optional – Garnish with fresh parsley and fresh orange slice.

Serves 8

Recipe by: Connie Shuff, York

First Place

2005 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest
  • It’s official. Local #broccoli has been spotted at roadside stands and markets in #Pennsylvania. We’re having fun pulling unique recipes from our “contest vault” and thought this broccoli bread especially fit the bill. Have you ever tried baking broccoli into bread? Head to paveggies.org for more #paveggies inspiration, facts, and fun!

10 oz. Broccoli, fresh or frozen
4 oz Butter
1 Onion, small, chopped fine
1 c Cottage Cheese, small curd
3 Eggs
1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
Yields 1 Loaf

Cut butter into small pieces. Break broccoli in the small pieces. Mix all ingredients and put in a 9” x 5” greased and floured pan. Bake at 400ºF for 30 minutes or until done.

Recipe by: Dorothy Martin, Conestoga

Finalist – Desserts/Breads

2004 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest
  • Holy veggies! It’s already broccoli time?! PA Produce Month is just around the corner. August is the perfect time to celebrate and it’s easy to join in on the fun. We’ll be coming at you with ways to get in on the PA Produce Month action. Stay tuned for more #homegrown happiness ...and eat your local PA veggies for gosh sakes! 🌽 🍅 🥦 #repost @rt174roadside
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We are loving the #paveggies that are starting to come into season! They're delicious and make the best close-up shots! ⠀
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#rt174roadsidemarket #rt174roadside #mechanicsburgpa #papreferred #paveggies #paproduce #farmersmarket #buylocal #shoplocal #supportsmall #shopsmall #veggies #veggieseason
  • Remember to pick up dill from your local farmer if you plan to preserve this year’s bounty with pickling methods! #paveggies #pennsylvania #vegetables #veggies #homegrownhappiness #buyfreshbuylocal #bfbl #augustispaproducemonth #produce #preserve #pickle #dill #local #localfood #farmtotable #supportlocal #knowyourfarmer
  • This gingered zucchini recipe comes from our 2006 contest but a good recipe never goes out of style. Consider garnishing with a little fresh ginger too for an extra kick. Enjoy!

2 c. Zucchini – peeled and sliced
1 c. Onion – sliced
1 c. Tomatoes – chopped
2 T. Canola Oil
1/2 tsp. Ginger Powder
Salt – to taste

In a skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add onions. Stir and cook until lightly brown. Add tomatoes. Stir and cook about 7 minutes. Add ginger powder and salt. Add zucchini. Stir and cook on medium to low heat until tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve over rice or spread over toast.#paveggies #produce #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #veggies #vegetables #augustispaproducemonth #buyfreshbuylocal #bfbl #seasonal #eatwiththeseasons #farmtotable #zucchini #ginger #recipe
  • Kale is great but let’s not forget the original super green - spinach! It is a great source of protein, iron, and antioxidants. Spinach is quite easy to incorporate into recipes to give that meal an extra healthy boost. Bonus: it’s super easy to preserve too! Load up now from your local farmer and store some for winter when your body is craving extra nutrition. #paveggies #produce #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #veggies #vegetables #augustispaproducemonth #buyfreshbuylocal #bfbl #seasonal #eatwiththeseasons #farmtotable #spinach #healthy #antioxidants #iron #protein #preserve #freeze #superfood #sorrynotsorrykale
  • Too busy for veggies? A little meal prep goes a long way. Buy a little extra from your local farmer next time and make yourself some mason jar salads for the weekdays. The additional veggie intake will have you feeling great! #paveggies #produce #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #veggies #vegetables #salad #romaine #lettuce #tomato #onion #cucumber #healthy #mealprep #augustispaproducemonth #seasonal #eatwiththeseasons #farmtotable
  • Many recipes will call for just the white portion of a spring onion but we suggest finely chopping the green part to make a delightful garnish too. Our favorite prep tip for the spring onion? Roast the entire vegetable in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. #paveggies #springonion #pennsylvania #vegetables #homegrownhappiness #produce #simplydelicious #onions #eatwiththeseasons #spring #veggies #augustispaproducemonth
  • We’ve already got beans on the mind. Which dish would you pick: bean salad with a homemade vinaigrette or sautéed beans with an aioli sauce? #paveggies #beans #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #vegetables

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