BBQ | Grilled vegetables… to freeze

 BBQ |  Grilled vegetables... to freeze

What if, while we enjoy the abundance of fresh vegetables from Quebec and the warmth of the lit grill, we put aside a few grilled meats, just to rediscover the delicious smoky flavor in the winter months? Tips and ideas for freezing grilled vegetables.

Choose your vegetables

“Grilled vegetables are wonderful! exclaims Anne Desjardins, consultant and chef who ran the acclaimed L’Eau à la bouche restaurant in Sainte-Adèle for more than 30 years. “I made a lot of it in the restaurant days,” 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.


Chef and consultant Anne Desjardins

The process is still quite simple. There are only vegetables filled with water, which absolutely could not be frozen.

Anne Desjardins, chef

Therefore excluding the romaine lettuce (although it is very firm) or the watermelon, both of which she likes on the grill.

That said, even the 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 will be a hit in a sandwich or wrap, despite the loss of the “half-cooked” aspect desired when cooking on the grill.

“It is clear that the charred side is pleasant,” stresses Anne Desjardins. It gives a little umami side, an indefinable taste that calls for other flavors and that goes well with others. »

Watch the cooking

Whatever vegetable you choose to cook on the grill, the chef prefers to use only a little olive oil for cooking, even if it means adding a little salt afterwards for instant flavoring. . “But above all, don’t put too much olive oil on, otherwise it will burn,” she warns.

You also don’t cook at too high a temperature to achieve good caramelization – “the border is golden, a little dark brown,” advises Anne Desjardins.

Dry variety

If peppers, eggplant, cauliflower, zucchini are good regulars on the grill, you can add all kinds of squash and even beets to your grill. “For the beetroot, we will peel them, then cut them into slices and add a little olive oil,” advises Anne Desjardins.

As for the onion, the same process is used as for the turnip; but it can also be divided into petals or cut into quarters.

However, one of Anne Desjardins’ favorite vegetables on the grill is Quebec asparagus, which she cooks “almost al dente”. And you always cool down well before freezing in portions, she states. The process is the same for leeks, which however require a little more patience for cooking.


Anne Desjardins cooks her Quebec asparagus “barely al dente”.

For wild vegetables such as fiddleheads, the process will be slightly different, explains Anne Desjardins. “They often have to be blanched, and then you can cook on the grill. »

Grill to cook

Grilled tomatoes can also be frozen to enhance soups, sauces, ratatouille or stews – a very efficient way to bulk up and cook faster during the school year.

But you can also cook different seasonal vegetables on the grill en papillote (brushed with olive oil with a pinch of salt), suggests Anne Desjardins. “Of course you lose a bit of that grilled flavor, but it’s smart to use the grill,” she says, a bit like when you blanch vegetables before freezing them. And they will be great additions to any recipe when summer is far behind us.


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