Grilling or cooking over a barbecue is perhaps the oldest and most primitive cooking method. It does not have to be complicated, but getting to know your fire-source is probably the the most important step. It can be as simple as building a wood fire, letting the logs burn long enough to turn into hot, white-ash covered coals, and sticking a cast-iron or metal barbecue grate over the top. Using charcoal briquettes can be even more simple than a wood fire, and gives a distinct flavor that is desired by many. However, many backyard barbecue enthusiasts prefer the instant heat of a gas-fired grill. Whatever your preference, once the grill is nice and hot, it won't be long until you have deliciously grilled vegetables ready for your favorite meals.
(Any of the following vegetables, or whatever you have on hand)
Eggplant, sliced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
Zephyr or Pattypan Squash, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
Sweet Peppers, seeded and cut in half or into thick strips
Green beans, stems trimmed
Delicata squash, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
A good quality lemon-pepper seasoning blend (like The Alchemy LP)
(or a mixture of fresh lemon zest, minced garlic, thyme, freshly ground black pepper, and kosher salt)
Wash, trim, and slice vegetables. Place in a large bowl and drizzle enough canola oil on them to lightly coat the vegetables. Too much oil can cause oil drips and flare-ups on the grill, not enough oil will leave the vegetables too dry. Generously season with the lemon pepper mixture.
Heat your barbecue to a high heat (about 500-550 degrees). If using charcoal, let coals burn until they are white, smokeless, and very hot. If cooking over a wood fire, follow this method from Oliver Schwaner-Albright.
Place the vegetables on the hot grill. Resist the urge to move them around a lot. Let the first side sear long enough to make dark brown or black grill marks before turning to cook the other side.
When the vegetables have seared on both sides, remove from the grill and return to the bowl. Toss in the remaining oil and seasoning before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs, like basil, parsley, or cilantro if desired. Serve hot or cold.