Many people can’t wait for grilling season each year, but if you are a vegetarian you may be left thinking, What can I eat?
The good news is the days of just burgers and hot dogs are behind us, and plant-based, meatless options are both plentiful and as flavorful as their carnivore-pleasing counterparts. Even if you aren’t a vegetarian, adding in a few more plant-rich meals is good for your health and the environment.
So, what’s on the menu? Here are some tips for making vegetables shine on the grill this summer.
1. Grilled vegetable platter
Start by visiting a farmers market for inspiration. Most of the vegetables that are in season can be grilled and easily transformed into a great main dish for a group. Serve a grilled vegetable platter with a variety of dips. Put out fixings for a build-your-own sandwich or use them to top flatbread or place atop greens for a hearty salad.
To get the most out of your grilled vegetables, take a few quick steps before they hit the grill, suggests Lonnie Romero, culinary director at the Spice House in Chicago. First: Be liberal with your salt and fat.
“Whether you choose kosher salt or smoked Hawaiian sea salt, olive oil or coconut, just don’t skimp,” Romero says. “Season your vegetables in advance to let the salt begin penetrating your veggies, and have a nice finishing salt on hand if they need a little extra right off the grill.
”Next, think about marinating, just like you would with meat. Vegetables are perfect for marinating and require less time (15 to 20 minutes should be all you need). A marinade can be as simple as a blend of olive oil, lemon juice and your favorite spices.