This is the time of year to explore meat-free meals. The BBQ should and will become your best friend when it comes to whipping up gastronomic delights that are uber tasty and yes, meat-free. The simple carrot, green onion, sweet corn, new potatoes, and cherry tomatoes take on a whole new flavour when grilled on the BBQ. Even the tasteless zucchini, grilled with roasted garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar, will spark and enliven your taste buds.
The naturally occurring sugars in vegetables are enhanced when grilled. When married with an acidity like lemon juice or your choice of vinegars (a good balsamic works well with grilled veg) and a touch of salt, you will have created a taste sensation that will truly satisfy your palate.
The key to grilling vegetables are a clean grill, high heat, and cooking on only one side of the grill. Use the other side of the BBQ as your warming station. The denser the veg, the thinner the slices should be. Cook root veggies first after tossing with your desired spice and oil. After they caramelize, move to the unheated side and move on to your next veg.
You can gather by now that I haven’t offered any recipes yet. I’m not going to do all the work. Take a look in your fridge, take a look online and fire up the BBQ. If all else fails think “Ethnic”, pick a theme and your are 90% done.
If you are still thinking about the centre piece being a hunk of meat, perhaps think of a Nutburg or a Holy Mole Burger. Might I suggest with The Holy Mole, some grilled corn, red peppers, green onions, and cherry tomatoes. Chill, remove corn from cob, chop veg, add a small can of black beans and you are on your way to a fresh roasted salsa. It’s up to you if you would like to add cilantro, hot peppers, cumin, or garlic. After all, this your creation, not something that Betty Crocker invented.
Enjoy the BBQ and let me know how you get along.
– James West,