Recently, I've had the good fortune to become better acquainted with Jim, Zach (Jim's associate who produces podcasts on Columbus Food.tv and, of course, Zach's lovely wife and fellow foodie, Mary. We've talked some fun food topics.
Most recently, we had a session discussion grilling veggies. I stated in the discussion I was content to grill veggies directly over coals, on the grate with no special utensils or pans.
The more definitive a statement I make, the more I am likely to think about it, question it, and change my mind. I think they call that flip flopping in the politics arena. Can't feel bad. Etched-in-stone habits are always healthy to challenge.
Back to the flip flop. We just got our share of veggies yesterday and I was cleaning greens and prepping veggies for the week ahead. The beets looked enticing; I thought roasting the beets and putting them on a bed of greens with a little feta and bread sounded perfect. I actually had never tried grilling veggies in a pan on the grill. Hmmm. I skinned the beats, chopped the zucchini, quartered an onion, tossed in some sliced basil and a couple slivers of garlic (all with a quick splash of olive oil and salt and pepper) and tossed the pan on the grate over the hot coals. Then, I went to walk the dog.
About 15-25 minutes later, bam! (ouch). They were gently smokey (I used Kingsford/hickory) and nicely browned. They cooled a bit and were tossed on the bed of greens. It was a lovely meal.
The shallow roasting pan was easier than tossing the veggies with a spatula and there was no chance of losing any in the grate, so the size of the dice didn't matter. I must also say, I use a pretty darkened thin roasting pan and don't bother to keep it shiny, it's clean but never looks it. I may never roast roots any other way again.