Come July 4th–and all the summer weekends that follow–the grill takes center stage, and your typical omnivore’s thoughts turn to meat. That leaves the vegetarians alone to contemplate the dying embers and wonder why the smoke wafting up always smells like burgers but never of zucchini.
That should change, and not just out of fairness to the meat-abstainers. Many vegetables cook up extremely deliciously on the grill, thanks to the high-heat, smoke-filled environs. So whether you’re a host or a guest, don’t relegate your vegetable-lovers to the sidelines. Here are 11 ways to throw individual vegetables and entire vegetarian meals on the grill.
1. Grilled Zucchini Tacos
On the grill, marinated spears of zucchini char on the outside and turn juicy and soft within. In our recipe, they get piled into tortillas (also grilled)–as a fantastic filling for tacos.
2. Grilled Potatoes & String Beans – Served with Romesco Sauce
Slices of Yukon Gold potatoes and trimmed string beans go on the grill in our recipe’s unexpected step for making a salad. Once cooked (and infused with a yummy smoky flavor), we chop the vegetables and turn them into a salad that’s dressed with Romesco.
3. Grilled Eggplant, Halloumi & Pesto Burgers
Halloumi is one of our all-time favorite cheeses, and it makes the leap from frying pan to grill in this delightful sandwich. Eggplant slices, definitely in the top five veggies to grill, makes an appearance too.
4. Grilled Tofu with Pineapple Salsa
Though blogger Oh She Glows’s simple guide to grilling tofu will stand you in good stead to match grilled tofu with any kind of sauce and starch, her pairing of pineapple salsa and coconut rice is deliciously inspired.
5. Grilled Home-Ground Polenta with Zucchini Salsa
In this recipe, home-ground polenta squares go on the barbecue, emerging with grill marks and crispy edges–and as the ideal vessel for fresh zucchini salsa.
6. Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cherry Salsa
Sweet potato fries should appear alongside burgers with regularity, of course, but what’s especially exciting in this recipe is that the grilled potato wedges could go so far as to be a vegetarian main dish. Way to elevate French fries!
7. Grilled Corn, Mexican Style
Elote is the Spanish name for the popular corn on the cob sold by street vendors in Mexico. Charred kernels, delicious in their own right, are topped with a rich combination of toppings, like Mexican crema, cheese, and spices. Here’s how to do it.
8. Grilled Broccoli with Chipotle Lime Butter
Spears of broccoli respond beautifully to the high heat of the grill in this recipe, shrinking down as their flavor intensifies and their texture grows delightfully crunchy.
9. Grilled Cheese!
Yes, you can transfer your grilled cheese cookery to the grill. Simply spread softened butter on the outside of both top and bottom slices. Then set over a hot fire and cover the grill. Cook 2 minutes on each side, watching to make sure the cheese isn’t getting too drippy. Admire your grill marks, then enjoy.