“Grilled vegetables are wonderful! exclaims Anne Desjardins, consultant and chef who ran the renowned L’Eau à la bouche restaurant in Sainte-Adèle for more than 30 years. “I did a lot of it in the restaurant’s time,” she says, recalling that it was Yotam Ottolenghi who put this method of cooking vegetables back on the table of great chefs a few years ago.
Excluded, therefore, romaine lettuce (even if it is very firm) or watermelon, which she both likes on the barbecue.
That said, even that classic roasted pepper is bound to go soft when thawed, she warns, unless you immediately put it on a hot plate while it’s still frozen. Otherwise, it’ll be a hit in a sandwich or wrap, despite losing that semi-cooked quality that’s sought after when cooking on the grill.
“Obviously the charred side is nice,” says Anne Desjardins. It gives a little umami side, an indefinable taste that calls for other flavors and that goes well with others. »
No matter what vegetable you choose to cook on the barbecue, the chef prefers to use only a little olive oil for cooking, even if it means adding a little salt afterwards for immediate tasting. . “But don’t put too much olive oil because otherwise it will burn,” she warns.
You also don’t cook at too high a temperature, in order to obtain a good caramelization – “limit golden, a little dark brown”, recommends Anne Desjardins.
If peppers, eggplant, cauliflower, zucchini are great regulars on the barbecue, you can add all kinds of squash and even beets to your grill. “For the beets, we want to peel them, then after that, we cut them into slices and add a little olive oil,” advises Anne Desjardins.
As for the onion, the same process is applied as for the beet; but it can also be divided into petals or cut into four.
One of Anne Desjardins’ favorite vegetables on the barbecue, however, is Quebec asparagus, which she cooks “barely al dente”. And you always chill well before freezing in portions, she notes. The process is the same for the leek, which however requires a little more patience for cooking.
For wild vegetables like fiddleheads, the process will be a little different, explains Anne Desjardins. “They often need to be blanched and then you can cook on the grill. »
Grilled tomatoes can also be frozen to enhance soups, sauces, ratatouilles or stews – a very effective way to have reserves and cook faster during the school year.
But you can also cook different seasonal vegetables in foil on the barbecue (brushed with olive oil with a pinch of salt), suggests Anne Desjardins. “Sure you lose that barbecue flavor a bit, but it’s a smart use of grilling,” she says, much like parboiling vegetables before freezing them. And they’ll make great additions to any recipe when summer is far behind us.