Rise of the Vegan Griller
Growing up, sweet corn was the only vegetable that made the acquaintance of the family grill. My aunt would soak just-picked ears in sugared water, then barbecue them in their husks alongside chicken, burgers, or steaks. The meat was the undisputed star of the show, of course, but that first bite from the plate was almost always buttered corn.
Today, it’s impossible to ignore the popularity of plant-based eating. A recent Vegetarian Times study indicated that 22.8 million Americans follow a “vegetarian-inclined” diet, while about 1 million lead a pure vegan lifestyle, meaning they avoid all animal products, including dairy, and even honey.
Steven called it last year, the so-called “Year of the Vegan,” when he began writing How to Grill Vegetables. Though not strictly vegan or vegetarian, this vegetable-forward tome will be released May 11, 2021, and is available for pre-order now.
Some of the recipes will be featured in the next season of Project Fire, which just finished shooting days ago in Baltimore.
In the meantime, there are many recipes on our website that will inspire you if you’re looking for creative side dishes, main courses, or new ways to make use of garden-fresh vegetables. Here’s a sample:
Vegan Grilling Recipes
Smoked salted nuts make a fantastic nibble with cocktails and can be prepared a few days ahead.
Use the last of the sun-ripened tomatoes to make this popular Spanish tapa: Grill thick slices of country-style bread, then rub with grilled garlic and fresh tomato pulp before drizzling with extra virgin olive oil.
Grilled pizza is a revelation, with its crisp but bumpy crust and a flourish of colorful vegetables on top. This combination of winter squash and black beans is one of our favorites. Finish it with Mexican queso fresco, if desired, or your favorite vegan cheese, such as Chao.
Substantial enough to be served as a main course, you’ll make this recipe again and again. The tangy vinaigrette also pairs well with pasta or other grilled vegetables.
Much lighter than the deep-fried rellenos found at Mexican restaurants, these bean-stuffed poblanos are high in protein and low in fat. If you can’t find poblanos at your local market, substitute bell pepper halves.
Roasting sturdy vegetables like onions, eggplant, and bell peppers directly in the embers gives them incomparable flavor. If desired, you can use the same cooking method (what Steven calls “cavemanning”) to bake chewy flatbreads. This recipe has been popular ever since it first aired on Project Fire, Season 2.
7. Shiitake “Bacon” — Bonus Recipe from How to Grill Vegetables
Just to whet your appetite for Steven’s latest book, we’ve included here a recipe for Shiitake “Bacon.” Vegetable charcuterie—ya, it’s a thing!