Meatless Grilling Inspiration for the Whole Summer
The grill has always felt to me like the exclusive domain of carnivores. But even as a vegetarian, I crave the satisfying grill marks, smoky flavors, and communal atmosphere of the barbecue. This summer, I don’t want to ask for just a clean corner of the grate, I want the whole thing. And not just on long holiday weekends, let’s fire it up on a weeknight. Hand me the tongs — this is my summer grilling manifesto.
I’m starting with dessert. I will grill strawberries, figs, and every kind of stone fruit to bring out their juicy sweetness. I want to make biscuits on the grill, too, in my cast iron pan.
When the pears are perfect, I will caramelize them and add a dollop of creamy Greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.
I’ll probably put a doughnut on the grill and see what happens.
Apps and Sides
I will char ears of corn, the sweet harbinger of summer, and make elote, salads, and salsa, with crumbly cheese, fresh tomatoes, and a squeeze of lime.
Can you grill salad? I’m going to try.
Salsa rossa made with roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes sounds fancy but doable. On grilled broccoli rabe or cauliflower with lemon.
I will grill asparagus until there’s no more asparagus left to grill.
I wonder what hummus would taste like, made with grilled chickpeas. A tip from Bon Appétit suggests using a wire mesh strainer as a grill basket and I think this could work. I will smear it on toasty pita to be filled with grilled falafel and veg.
What else can be improved by grilling? Cocktails or sangria, made with grilled fruits. A smoky-sweet mango salsa, with charred peppers, tomatoes, and maybe even pineapple.
Actually, I’ll probably just end up eating the grilled pineapple on its own.
Brunch is my favorite meal, and I think I can definitely grill French toast. With grilled peaches or berries on top. I could also make Cajun-spiced grilled veg over cheesy grits with an egg — I can never decide between sweet and savory for brunch.
I want to put things in foil packets on the grill because that sounds easy, like a chop of mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers for tacos, or root veggies for a breakfast hash and grain bowls for the week.
I’ll roast portabella mushroom caps, on toasted ciabatta rolls dressed with arugula, tangy goat cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic.
Actually-grilled grilled cheese sandwiches.
Grilled zucchini and eggplant could be folded into pasta, with some olive oil, herbs, pepper flakes, lemon, and feta, or perhaps our pistachio pesto that I put on everything.
I’m going to treat a slab of tofu like steak, cross-hatched with perfect grill marks and dunked in BBQ sauce. Or paired with pickled daikon and carrots and garlicky aioli for a bahn-mi, my favorite sandwich. Could I also roast the carrots? Yes.
Many flatbread pizzas will be made, with crispy blackened edges and chewy centers, topped with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. Or melty burrata and pesto. Or mushrooms, sage, and chevre. Or summer squash, corn, and kale. Or…
I have work to do. What’s on your summer to-grill list?