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Vegetarian Grilling Menu

Hi chowhounds:

I am having 2 vegetarian (but not vegan) friends over for dinner- looking to make something impressive on the grill (gas).

Any ideas?

Thanks muchly!

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  1. I love grilled corn and asparagus, just brush with olive oil and salt and pepper; For a main dish you might want to try grilled portobello cheeseburgers; you can find a good recipe (I haven't tried it but it looks good) on Steve Raichlen's Barbecue Bible website.

    1 Reply
    1. re: paulgardner

      Grilled Asparagus...marinate the aspar. in Balsamic, evoo, S&P. Yum.

    2. you could try a grilled vegetable stack and put some pieces of grilled halloumi on the plate. grilled halloumi is tasty and unusual.

      5 Replies
      1. re: arifa

        I make a grilled veggie stack that looks pretty impressive and is yummy (and a smaller version makes a great side for the meat-eaters... I grill portobella, eggplant, zucchini, red onion and anything else that happens to look good sliced about 1/4 inch thick. Marinade at least an hour (I just do a balsamic/olive oil/garlic marinade). Stack, layering cheese of choice every few layers and serve over pasta with a pesto-type sauce. It looks pretty and tastes yummy.

        A plain ole marinated portobella is good, I usually prefer to put it on a roll with some sort of cheese.

        Less impressive, but always safe, are veggie kabobs of any variety. A grilled veggie mix served with pasta/rice/bean cake/etc. can be presented in an impressive manner as well...

        As a veggie, I also never feel offended if someone just calls me up and ASKS if I have any personal favorites on a grill. I appreciate the effort on their part and it takes any awkwardness out upon arrival (I've had people assume i eat fish and make it "special" for me - I've NEVER eaten fish, even before I quit meat).

        Also, unless you know their sensitivity to veggies/meat mixing, be careful about using the same utensils/space on grill - I'm of the "I know it happens, and I try not to think about it, but if I watch the same spatula flip meat as my meal, it grosses me out" variety. I think a lot of people are similar.

        1. re: alexajord

          yes it is good host manners to grill the veggies prior to the meat on a clean grill; in a separate clean area of the grill; or in a grill wok or other barrier to keep the veg meal from being in contact with the meat juices. otoh some vegs are really tolerant. i attended a grill party at the home of a veg family and they were cool with grilling their veggie dogs alongside people's meaty brats, on their own home grill & it didn't bug them-- i'd assumed it was going to be a veg grill party and had brought bbq mock duck, though i eat meat.

          1. re: alexajord

            If you want to make the veggie stack a bit more substantial, another option is to layer in slices of grilled polenta spread with goat cheese. Very wonderful served with a fresh green salad, and impressive enough for company.

          2. re: arifa

            Halloumi is a great idea! I usually saute it and squeeze lemon juice on it to serve, but grilling sounds fabulous.

            Has anyone tried Rory's sugar grilled asparagus from TNFNS?

            1. re: coney with everything

              I did.....and it was REALLY good. I was surprised how much I liked them!

          3. I eat very little meat, and frequently do all-grilled dinners. Some of my more frequent appearances: veggie and pineapple kabobs marinated in a soy/brown sugar/garlic mixture... veggie kabobs with a feta/yogurt/oregano mixture... ind'l grilled pizzas (make a dough with a fair amt of EVOO to keep from sticking, grill on one side to toast, flip, top with oil, basil, well-drained tomatoes, and fresh mozz, close lid, cook till melty)... pineapple sliced all the way through to make a whole round, then grilled til toasty, and put on a toasted bun with a spicy garden burger.... whole roasted ears of corn with grill-baked potatoes... grilled 'panini' with filling of choice (I use spinach, mozz, tomatoes, artichokes, pesto, and a cast iron skillet to flatten it all)...

            Good luck!

            1. Grilled portabellos seem to be fairly standard meat sub at grill gatherings. I recently had one with some white bean puree dolloped in the cap after it came off the grill. It was excellent.

              I really, really love grilled corn. If I'm at a primarily grilled meat function I can be happy just eating it, waiting until I get home for some protein. I recently tried sliced sweet potatoes, grilled on a kabob. I am guessing they were partially cooked before they went on the grill, and they had some great sauce on them, but I don't know the details of how they were done.

              Really love the ideas of grilled halloumi. Yum.

              1. grilled pizza was a hit for us... most of the recipes we found (bobby flay on food network and cook's illustrated) were for a thin crust, but ours was thick and still delicious...

                1. Grilled vegetable quesadillas. Serve with rice, black beans, and some fresh salsa!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: hollyeve

                    Took the words right out of my mouth!

                    1. re: hollyeve

                      These are the same lines I was thinking along. Marinate a mixture of bell peppers and red onion quarters in lime juice, oil, chopped jalapeno and garlic, seasoned with chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and s and p. Serve the grilled veggies on tortillas with cheese/condiments of choice. Make a black bean salad with a dressing similar to the marinade, and add chopped scallions, tomatoes, cilantro, and grilled corn.

                      For dessert, grill pineapple slices, chop them up, add a couple of chopped serranos and some brown sugar to make a sauce. Heat it up to combine well and serve warm on ice cream. Make it spicy--the sweet ice cream will cut it quite a bit.

                    2. Extra firm tofu also grills up nicely on a well-oiled grill. I made pulled pork (smoked for many hours) for a BBQ this weekend, and for my vegan friends I sliced up some extra firm tofu into "steaks," drained on paper towels, sprinkled with dry rub, and served with the same BBQ sauce options I offered the meat-eaters. Also grilled summer squash steaks marinated in salad dressing. Many of out other veg favorites have already been mentioned, but this time of the year another good grilled option is whole tomatoes.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: 2m8ohed

                        What was the texture like on the grilled tofu? Is there anything you could liken it to?

                        1. re: 2m8ohed

                          I was just about to add grilled tofu! I went to a friends house for a mexican themed bbq and we had carne asada for those who ate meat, and grilled tofu for those who didnt! it was marinated with lemon juice, garlic and salt, i think. So tasty!!

                        2. Grill some lightly oiled eggplant rounds. Brush on a dollop of miso mixed with a bit of lemon or lime juice after turning.

                          1. My favorite grilled pizza is goat cheese, roasted beet, and roasted corn, with olive oil, basil, and a smear of tomato, if you decide to do a pizza. If not, Iove this all-vegetable meal, which you can vary as you like: Make polenta (real), chill in a baking dish to an inch thick, cut into stars or other shape; brush with olive oil and grill, and serve with grilled veggies (red peppers, zuch, yellow squash, corn, garlic, onions, e.g.) and a lightly grilled cheese such as mozz or goat, with a fresh (15 min cooking max) tomato sauce with basil and salt, nothing else.
                            www.littlecomptonmornings.blogspot.com

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: janeer

                              Second grilled polenta rounds served w/ ratatouille.

                              Also, you could marinate and grill seitan or tempeh blocks.

                              Also, cut the tops off of garlic heads, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil, and cook on the grill... serve w/ some french or sourdough bread slices also grilled.

                              I do a grilled corn with chili cilantro lime butter that's always a hit as well.

                              For dessert, how about grilled poundcake with grilled fruits??

                            2. I love grilled zucchini brushed with black bean sauce

                              Grilled oyster mushrooms brushed with lemon and balsamic and olive oil (addictive)

                              Stuffed mushroom caps! Onion, garlic, cheese, rstd red pepper, whatever you have in the fridge!

                              Finished with grilled banana stuffed with chocolate.

                              1. We ended up making:
                                -grilled portabello mushrooms marinated in balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper topped with white bean, garlic, sage puree- wonderful suggestion!!!
                                - grilled broccoli with olive oil, salt, pepper- crispy and yummy
                                -grilled corn rubbed with basil oil (basil, olive oil, garlic, salt, chili flakes)
                                -grilled, halved apricots rubbed with brown sugar and cinnamon