that_old_flameAround this time of year, we’re always thinking about grilling some nice spring veggies! Some onions are growing in the backyard and we have some nice little hot peppers and some carrots in the greenhouse. We wait until a warm, sunny day and fire up the grill!

Veggies are much better when you cook them on the grill. This is the best way to get kids to try eating their vegetables. That grilled flavor and texture make a huge difference.

Today, we have a friend who’s coming over. She grows cabbages over the winter, so we’ll have some cabbage for the grill. We’ll add everything, along with some buttered bread with garlic. Bread is awesome on the grill! If you don’t eat all of it, you can make croutons that are good later!

We have a secret sauce that we’ll share with you. We make it ourselves and use it for grilling but also for marinating and for salad dressing.

We call it ‘Whatever Sauce’peppers from my garden

1 cup olive oil

1 cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Mix together and eat!

We put the veggies on the grill after cleaning them well. We never peel anything – most of the nutrients are in the peelings! Cooking time depends on the size of the veggie.

Small onions only take a minute or so. Carrot fingerlings need about two minutes on each side. We make cabbage in chunks so that takes about three and a half minutes. Hot peppers take about two minutes. The bread only takes about a minute on each side.

Grilling Spring VeggiesYou don’t want the veggies too done or too black. You want them to maintain some of their crispness and color.

Use a brush to baste the veggies with whatever sauce you use as they cook. Turn frequently. Try not to have the flame so high that they burn. We’re not looking for incineration here!

Grilled veggies are good by themselves, or with anything from meat to macaroni and cheese. We try to stay in season with the veggies, switching from spring to summer as the weather gets warmer. And don’t forget fruit! Peach halves are good on the grill and so are apples and plums. Try your own ideas. Enjoy!

J.J. Cook is the author of That Old Flame of Mine from the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries. For more information visit