Grilled Fruits and Veggies
Paired with grilled meats, or combined on a meatless menu, these vegetarian-friendly grilling recipes can please any crowd.
On the streets of Mexico, people line up at vendor carts to buy giant ears of roasted corn dunked in rich crema Mexicana and sprinkled with chili powder and lime juice. This savory treat provides a festive twist to the basic corn-on-the-cob. Crema Mexicana is a sweet, heavy cream that ranges in flavor from tangy to mildly bland with a slightly stiff to thick consistency. If you have difficulty finding it, use low-fat sour cream as a substitute.
This recipe is a nice twist on traditional grilled asparagus spears. Skewering groups of asparagus spears together makes them easier to flip on the grill. Sesame seeds lend additional crunch and a sprinkling of color to the dark green spears. The secret for cooking asparagus is simple: don’t overcook it. The slender shoots should turn out crisp and bright in color.
Black pepper and vanilla heighten the sweetness of the stone fruit. Make sure to clean the cooking grate thoroughly so that no residue from previously grilled foods ruins the flavor of the fruit.
Golden raisins in the rice pilaf are a sweet balance to the intense spices in the tandoori marinade. Both tofu’s subtle flavor and tender texture merge well with a multitude of Western and Asian seasonings. The variety of flavors in this dish makes it a healthy, instant classic.
To prepare this appetizer indoors, broil the eggplant rounds until browned, and continue the recipe as instructed. White balsamic vinegar offers the sweetness of regular balsamic but won’t discolor the salad. You can use regular balsamic vinegar if white isn’t available.
Because of the portobello’s firm texture, these burgers will please both vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike. Half of a roasted bell pepper is stirred into mayonnaise for the sandwich spread. Use the leftover bell pepper as a pizza topping, or in a salad or a pasta dish.
Serve these highly flavored apple rings as a side with pork or chicken. (One serving size for this recipe is three apple slices, but you can easily double the number of slices for even larger, guilt-free portions of this healthy dish.) We liked this recipe with Granny Smiths. For a dessert version, use Pink Lady apples, and serve with low-fat ice cream.
"When I was growing up in Mexico City, my parents would throw wonderful summer barbecues," says Chef Medina (Toloache, Yerba Buena, Coppelia, New York City). "We would grill corn on the cob and mix in leftover beans from the weekend and make a delicious, simple corn and bean salad." This Latin-accented three-bean and corn salad is studded with guacamole components: jalapeño, cilantro, white onion, lime, and avocado.
Look for caper berries near the olives in the supermarket; they should be next to the capers, but they're much bigger and have a stem. In a pinch, substitute about a tablespoon of chopped capers. Japanese eggplants have thinner skins than typical globe eggplants, so you can leave the peel on. The light purple color is pretty, too.
Perfect for a backyard cookout with friends, just six ingredients make one delicious dessert in less than 10 minutes. Grilling caramelizes the sugars in the fruit for a light treat that is delicious on its own or served with low-fat vanilla ice cream.
The sweet pineapple pairs expertly with cool avocado. Whether served with tacos, alongside grilled fish, or scooped with a tortilla chip—you won't want to miss this one.
This simple side dish is tastiest at room temperature, so it's an ideal make-ahead. Any leftovers would be good the next day for lunch with couscous.
Caramel is nothing more than melted, browned sugar; we add water to hasten the melting process and reduce the risk of burning the sugar. Purchase freestone peaches so the pits will be easy to remove.
Make this soup up to two days ahead, cover, and chill until you're ready to serve. If you prepare it ahead, you may need to stir in a bit of water before serving, as it may thicken slightly as it sits.
The rich and creamy combination of bacon, cream cheese, and cheddar nicely contrasts the muted spice of grilled jalapeño peppers. This appetizer recipe is a healthy, fresh alternative to the popular breaded and fried version.
Brush grilled apricots with a mixture of olive oil, honey, and fresh thyme and serve as a simple side dish, over a bed of greens, or even as a topping for grilled pizza.
The contrasting flavors of the sweet fruit and tangy lime juice plus the variety of textures in the fruits, nuts, and vegetables create an intriguing and beautiful first course.
Tender, savory lentils paired with cooked peppers and cilantro converts this dish from a bland bean salad to a delectable and healthy meal. Use any combination of sweet bell peppers you like: green, red, yellow, and purple.
Grilling heightens the fruit's sweetness and flavor. Slightly firm fruit will stand up to the heat; if you're using ripe fruit, take it from the grill just a few minutes sooner than directed. Garnish with mint sprigs.
This sandwich is also delicious cold the next day for lunch—to prevent the pita from getting soggy, don't assemble until you're ready to eat. We like thick, tangy Greek-style yogurt in this dish.
A brief turn over hot coals wilts hearty romaine lettuce ever so slightly and infuses it with a delicious smoky flavor, yielding a special salad that's simple to prepare. Serve with any type of grilled meat, fish, or burgers.
A cornichon is the French version of a gherkin. You'll find these small, tart pickles in gourmet grocery stores; otherwise, gherkins will work just fine. Or, if you have capers on hand, you may substitute 1 tablespoon drained capers for the pickles. Make this potato salad recipe up to two hours ahead.
Cedar planks lend this dish a pleasant smokiness. If you don't have planks, cook the zucchini halves directly on the grill. Use zucchini with some heft; if it's too thin, it may get too soft.
The perfect summer cookout treat, grilling brings out the sweetness in peaches. If you can't find them, feel free to use apricots or nectarines instead of peaches. Garnish with mint to serve.