Now that we have a place with an outdoor patio, I can finally enjoy the grill season in all its blackened glory. We’ve grilled the last four nights in a row, and some of those nights were even warm enough to dine al fresco.
When I tell people how much I like to grill, they often ask “what the hell does a vegetarian put on the grill?” Veggie burgers barely scrape the surface of possibilities. There are endless ways to cook vegetables on the grill and better still, it’s one of the best ways to make almost any vegetable taste really awesomely good. For a well-rounded, nutritious meal, add tofu and spuds to the mix.
At the bare minimum, all you need to grill vegetables is olive oil, salt and pepper. That’s all I’ve been using this week. Here are the results:
Grilled seitan, zucchini, tomato, and eggplant with boiled new potatoes:
Grilled eggplant and mushrooms with pesto and fresh parsley:
Sandwich of grilled zucchini, onion, mushroom, red bell pepper, avocado and tomato with grilled sweetcorn
Chargrilled broccoli with chili and garlic
The chargrilled broccoli was a revelation – I found the recipe in Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, a book that makes heavy use of grilled vegetables and I predict will become a regular read now that I have a bbq. The dish is simple to repair and the chargrilling really takes the broccoli to a whole new level. If you’re looking to cram more veggies in your diet but you don’t know how to make them taste good, give this recipe a go, and check out Yotom Ottolenghi’s blog for more ideas.
Chargrilled Broccoli with Chili and Garlic
This is adapated from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. The only change I made is cutting down the chili to one, but feel free to use more or less according to your spice tolerance.
2 heads of broccoli
115ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
coarse sea salt and black pepper
thin slices of lemon (with skin) or toasted flaked almonds to garnish
Prepare the broccoli by separating it into florets. Fill a large saucepan with plenty of water and bring it to the boil. Throw in the broccoli and blanch for 2 minutes only. Don’t be tempted to cook it any longer! Using a large slotted spoon, quickly transfer the broccoli to a bowl full of ice cold water. Drain in a colander and allow to dry completely. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with 45ml of the olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Get the grill nice and hot and throw on the broccoli. Turn them over so they get char marks all over. When the broccoli is finished, put them back in the mixing bowl.
Place the rest of the oil in a small saucepan with the garlic and chillies. Cook them over a medium heat until the garlic just begins to turn golden brown. Be careful not to let the garlic and chilli burn – remember, they will keep on cooking even when off the heat.
Pour the oil, garlic and chilli over the hot broccoli and toss together well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve warm or at room temperature. You can garnish the broccoli with lemon or almonds just before serving.