Grilled Vegetable Recipes
by Steven Raichlen

On the menu:

Grilled Okra
Grilled Zucchini with Greek Spices

Grilled Okra

Okra is the vegetable people love to hate. They hate it because it tends to be slimy — especially when boiled or stewed. Grilling solves the slime problem and gives the okra a pleasing crispness and sweet smoky aroma. This recipe comes from the famous Tokyo grill restaurant, Inakaya.

Serves 4.


1 pound fresh okra
1 tablespoon dark (Asian-style) sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

slender bamboo skewers

Note: when buying okra, choose smallish pods of uniform size. (They should be about the length and width of your forefinger.) Look for crispy, springy, bright green pods, avoiding okras that look brown or shriveled.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the grill to high.
  2. Trim the tips off the stems off the okras, but do not cut into the pods. Lay 5 okras side by side in a neat row at the edge of a cutting board. Skewer crosswise with 2 bamboo skewers, one at the top, one at the bottom. Lightly brush the skewered okras with sesame oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill the okras until tender and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side, turning once with a flat spatula. Serve the okras at once, letting each guest remove the skewers.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories: 69
Fat: 4 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 grams
Sodium: 156 milligrams
Total Carbohydrates: 9 grams
Dietary Fiber: 4 grams

Protein: 2 grams
% calories from fat: 42%

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Grilled Zucchini with Greek Spices

Zucchini is the quintessential vegetable of summer-and one of my favorite vegetables for grilling. To maximize the fire flavor, I thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise. I like to grill zucchini and summer squash together: the greens and yellows look great on a platter.

Serves 4 to 6.


2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound), stem end trimmed off
2 medium yellow zucchini, squash, or more zucchini (about 1 pound), stem end trimmed off
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Special equipment: 1 cup oak or other wood chips (optional)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. If using a vegetable grate, preheat it as well.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini and squash lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange the slices on a platter and drizzle with the oil, turning the slices several times to coat both sides with oil. Sprinkle the slices on both sides with the garlic, oregano, mint, hot pepper flakes, and lots of salt and pepper. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Arrange the squash slices on the grate and grill until nicely browned on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer the squash to a platter and arrange in an attractive pattern. Garnish with lemon wedges for squeezing. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories: 78
Fat: 6 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 153 milligrams
Total Carbohydrates: 6 grams
Dietary Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 2 grams
% calories from fat: 59 %

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About Steven Raichlen

Steven Raichlen is the author of 20 books, including the IACP/ Julia Child Award-winning Barbecue Bible and the new Barbecue Bible Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades (both published by Workman) and the High-Flavor, Low-Fat Cooking series, which won two James Beard Awards. He recently created a Barbecue University at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. You can reach him at his web site:

He has appeared numerous times on national television, including The Today Show and Good Morning America as well as CNN and The Discovery Channel. Raichlen lives in Coconut Grove, Florida, with his wife Barbara.


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