8 Meatless Grilling Tips (Slideshow)
May 22, 2014
There are plenty of non-meat reasons to fire up the grill
For ease of preparation, don't peel fruits and vegetables before grilling. Skipping this steps up the smokiness of the end result, and you’ll preserve more nutrients by keeping the skin on. Bonus: Leaving the husk on an ear of corn while grilling works to gently steam the kernels while protecting them from drying out.
Ideal grilling fruits are firm and just barely ripe. Watermelon, pineapple, mangoes, and peaches grill well. Soak in a splash of bourbon or rum or drizzle with honey for an added burst of flavor.
Dressing up premade dough and grilling a pizza over the open fire is an impressive dish for entertaining (but fast for weeknight dinners, too). Grill one side of the dough then flip, add the toppings, and finish cooking. Use a pizza grill pan, or place dough directly on the grates.
Tempeh and Tofu
Tempeh’s firm texture makes it a perfect match for the grill. Tempeh does best with a little pre-work — steam to cook through or marinate overnight. Grill prepared tempeh on each side for 4 to 5 minutes, or until nicely browned. When grilling tofu, use firm or extra-firm and press it prior to cooking to remove as much of the moisture as possible. Both tofu and tempeh soak up neighboring flavors so are a great option for marinades. Ideally, marinate in the fridge overnight but if you’re short on time, 30 minutes will do the trick.
This is a firm, pleasantly chewy goat and sheep milk cheese that doesn't melt, so you can throw it right on the grill. Cube it up for salads or layer it between slices of flame-kissed bread for the ultimate grilled cheese.
Preparation is Key
Fruit and vegetables stick to the grill easily, so lightly brush on oil beforehand or have a fine mesh grill tray handy. If you’re using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 20 to 30 minutes beforehand so they don't burn on the grill.
Precooked and Raw Vegetables
Many items will need to be precooked before heading to the grill in order to ensure they reach tender perfection before they burn. Potatoes, beets, and carrots all fit into this category. Though veggies such as summer squash, mushrooms, and onions don’t need to be precooked, cutting them down to roughly equal sizes will help with even cooking.
Big hunks of romaine lettuce or cabbage are excellent when grilled. Time on the grill enhances the natural sweetness of the lettuces while adding a fun smokiness. Serve these as a wedge or chop up for easy toppings or sandwich stuffers.