Barbecue season has officially begun, and while this time-honored summer tradition is usually packed with meats of all kinds, vegetarians and vegans don’t have to be left out of the fun. There’s a lot more to meat-free cookouts than frozen veggie burger pucks and bland potato salad. Try these 14 ideas (and 28 individual recipes!) for grilled vegetables, fruits and more.
Seasoned Corn on the Cob
(image via: jonsson)
Why barbecue plain old corn on the cob when you could give it a huge flavor boost? Try one of these three simple and easy recipes for zesty grilled corn: chili lime, parmesan cheese or maple chipotle. It only takes a few minutes to whip up a little marinade or glaze.
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Zucchini and summer squash are practically overflowing from home vegetable gardens by midsummer, and they’re always a nice addition to a cookout. Butternut and other fall and winter squash varieties are also delicious, and tend to caramelize to a sweet finish. Try miso-marinated summer squash, garlic-balsamic grilled butternut or rice vinegar and chili oil.
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Sweet bell peppers, smoky poblanos or spicy jalapeno make flavorful edible bowls for polenta, a creamy cornmeal paste. Cook and season the polenta according to Martha Stewart’s recipe, fill the halved peppers of your choice (or squeeze the mixture into whole peppers with a pastry bag) and simply place them on the grill until the peppers are tender to your taste.
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This meaty, satisfying vegetarian favorite soaks up a lot of flavor when it’s marinated before cooking. Use your favorite marinade or trygarlic balsamic, lime and olive oil or cajun spices. You could even stuff them with spinach and cheese.
Grilled Peaches & Pineapple
(image via: ozmafan)
Grilled pineapple is an old favorite, with most people just throwing them on the grill as they are. But have you ever tried grilled peaches? The high temperature caramelizes the fruit, intensifying the flavor.Spice them up with cinnamon and serve them with vanilla ice cream,add some ginger coconut caramel or try mascarpone and raspberry sauce.
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A brown sugar and balsamic vinegar glaze take grilled strawberries from delicious to sublime. This recipe from Treehugger adds a few sprigs of fresh rosemary for even more flavor.
Grilling some flatbread with the toppings of your choice couldn’t be easier. It’s also a great way to use the lower heat that’s still available after grilling up all of your vegetables, so you don’t scorch the bottom of the flatbread. Just add cheese, asparagus, pesto, squash, peppers, mozzarella or anything else you like. Close the grill for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
Melon with Lemon Basil
Honeydew melon is perked up by a quick base of lemon juice and basil. Want to get a little fancier? Try the basil-infused grilled fruit salad by Ciao Italia, which uses plums, nectarines and apricots as well as a little sugar and honey.
Endive may seem a bit delicate for the grill, but it holds up well and takes on a fantastic sweetness. Simply cut them in half, brush them with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt. Mario Batali’s recipe tosses them with lemony dressing and Provatura, an Italian cheese.
Charred Bell Peppers
Kick the flavor of roasted red peppers up a notch by charring them on the grill instead of in the oven. All it takes is cutting them in fourths, letting them blacken slightly on the grill and then letting them steam in a covered bowl so the skins are easy to remove. A recipe from ‘Living Without’ adds eggplant and tomato.
Eggplant is another one of those vegetables that suck up sauces and marinades for lots of flavor. Make Giada de Laurentiis’ grilled eggplant and goat cheese salad, or serve the grilled slices on a sandwich. You can even make the traditional Italian-American favorite, eggplant parmigiana, on the grill.
Grilled Mixed Veggies with Pasta Alfredo
Pretty much any vegetables you like can be grilled and then tossed with alfredo sauce and the pasta of your choice including linguine, fettucine, angel hair or farfalle. A recipe from The Best I Ever Had goes through the process, including how to make your own buttery alfredo sauce.
Artichokes with Kimchi Sour Cream
If you’ve never had kimchi – Korean fermented and spiced cabbage – you’re missing out. And if you’re already a fan, then you have all the more reason to get excited about this recipe for kimchi sour cream, which makes a great dipping sauce for grilled artichokes.
Tofu, Any Way You Like It
How many ways can you prepare tofu for the grill? They seem practically endless. Search for grilled tofu recipes and you’ll come up with page after page of interesting results. Some standouts includecilantro lime, grilled tofu with Asian greens and sriracha grilled tofu. Like eggplant and portobello mushrooms, tofu is practically a sponge ready to absorb your preferred seasonings.