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5 Tips for Grilling with Olive Oil

  • A swipe of olive oil on your grill’s grate is the first line of defense in keeping meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables from sticking. Before turning on your grill, generously pour a few tablespoons of olive oil on a paper towel and wipe it over your clean grill grate. Keep some oil in a spray bottle for intermittent re-oiling during a long grill session.
  • Coating vegetables and fruits with olive oil speeds cooking and improves flavor. Brush things like sliced sweet potatoes, zucchini, onions, summer squash, or even fresh pineapple rings with oil on both sides before placing on the grill. Oil on vegetables with thick skins like peppers and eggplant will keep it from burning, but it won’t impart much flavor since the toughened, charred skin is typically removed before eating.
  • Create flavored olive oil for brushing on vegetables by combining minced herbs or garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. For more intense flavor, heat the mixture on your kitchen stove and let it cool before using.
  • If you’re making spiedini (skewers) – one of Italy’s most popular summertime first courses –keep meat, vegetables or chunks of fruit from sticking to skewers by coating them first with olive oil. If using wooden skewers, fully submerge them in a bowl of water and soak for 10 minutes before coating with oil. This will help prevent them from catching fire.
  • Go beyond crackers or sliced bread and offer condiments that complement your selection. Good choices are honey and berry preserves; toasted almonds and walnuts; slices of fresh pear and apple; and dried fruits like apricots or figs.