Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD
Doctor of Public Health and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Turn up the flame under old-school cast iron to create intensified flavors in everything from potassium-rich loaded smashed potatoes and sweet potatoes to fresh summer squash and garden-ripe tomatoes.
Bored with the same grilled vegetables? Cast iron grilling is an exciting way to dial up the flavor while adding more fresh, colorful veggies to your grilled meal. At the same time that you’re grilling your lean proteins, you can create flavorful and nutritious vegetable side dishes. Make the whole meal come together easily in one pan that also makes cleanup a cinch.
It’s the ultimate summertime mashup: cast iron and the season’s freshest veggies. The cast iron pan is a perfect match for the grill creating intense flavors and bringing those nutritious summer vegetable sides to life in ways that even the pickiest eaters will crave. Seasoning with herbs, spices and blends in the hot pan allows the flavors and aromas to meld creating a beautiful char on your grilled vegetables. Try tossing your veggies with a little oil and one of these flavor combinations:
Get started on your cast iron grilling with these three recipes from our McCormick Kitchens:
Simply imagine that the grill is your stovetop, and sauté away. Cooking in a cast iron pan requires little fat, enhances aromas and flavor, and when you bring it to the grill adds a touch of smoky taste to protein and vegetables alike.
Creating a little sizzle to your vegetables sides – nutritious, flavorful and fun!
1. Place a large cast iron skillet on a preheated grill over medium-high heat (375°F to 400°F) until piping hot.
2. Add a splash of oil and heat. If no specific oil or amount is listed in the recipe*, use two tablespoons of your preferred cooking oil, such as olive, avocado, or canola oil.
3. Add your favorite vegetables: Add heartier vegetables that require longer cooking times like sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots or onions, first. Cook for several minutes, until lightly charred and tender, stirring frequently. Push them to the edges of the pan and add softer vegetables to the center to cook. Take care not to overcrowd the pan.
4. When the vegetables are all fork tender and lightly charred, season, serve and enjoy!
*Tip: Any recipe that calls for a skillet or a cast iron on the stovetop can easily be transitioned to the grill.