Is there anything so disconcerting to BBQ hosts as the vegetarian guest? If they won’t eat burgers, hot dogs or grilled chicken, what will they eat?
Here is my advice: if you have vegetarian guests at your BBQ, grill some vegetables (especially mushrooms, red pepper and eggplant).
Plate the grilled vegetables and refrigerate until shortly before serving time. Let your vegetarian guests make a burger or wrap with the vegetables, with some sliced fresh vegetables (such as tomato, avocado and lettuce) and some interesting condiments. The above burger was made with mushroom layered with avocado, tomato and herb mayo. The below burger: grilled mushrooms, red pepper and eggplant, on a bun spread with guacamole and drizzle with a sushi-style spicy mayo.
Here are two super easy mayonnaise based condiments they add richness and intense flavor to a grilled vegetable burger:
Herb Mayo Veggie Burger or Wrap Spread
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbl. lemon juice
4 tsp. minced herbs (or 4 cubes of the Eden brand frozen herbs)
1 clove garlic, minced (you could probably use a frozen cube here, too, but I use fresh garlic)
salt, pepper, to taste
Spicy Mayo Veggie Burger or Wrap Spread
This tastes like the sushi mayo. If you add the Old Bay seasoning, it will give it a taste reminiscent of mock crab cakes, because that is the spice used in crab cakes.
4 Tbl. mayonnaise
2 Tbl. lemon juice (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp. sriracha sauce or other garlic chili sauce (Oxygen makes a kosher sriracha that I like)
1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning, instead of or in addition to the hot sauce
Making at least grilled portobella mushrooms is a must, and it is dead simple. Just clean the mushroom and marinate them in a mixture of soy sauce, salt, pepper, a little olive oil and minced garlic. If this is too much work even, just use a terriyaki sauce, preferably one of the brands that is on the thickish side. Marinate for hours or minutes, it doesn’t make much difference. Throw it on the grill (or roast it in the oven or sear it in a pan) until it is cooked through and you are done. (The leftover marinade can be added to ground beef (maybe 2-4 Tbl. per pound of beef) to make terriyaki burgers.)
Miso also makes an excellent seasoning for grilled vegetables.
Miso Grilled Vegetables
Inspired by a recipe for miso grilled vegetables from Naomi Duguid in Cooking Light.
2 Tbl. miso
1 Tbl. lemon juice
1 Tbl. water
2 Tbl. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sriracha sauce or other hot sauce
1 eggplant, sliced 1/4″-1/2″ thick
2 red peppers
three portobella mushrooms
2 zucchini, sliced diagonally, 1/4″-1/2″ thick
Combine the miso, lemon, hot sauce and olive oil. Coat the vegetables with the miso mixture and grill until tender. You can also roast the vegetables on non-stick foil at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are browned and tender.
Another option: vegetarian kabobs. Place tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and seitan on skewers. For a Hawaiian effect add pineapple. Brush with a BBQ sauce and grill. Here is a vegetarian kabob BBQ sauce I came up with recently that also works really well with grilled chicken:
Hawaiian BBQ Sauce
1 Tbl. soy sauce or terriyaki
2 Tbl. smoky BBQ sauce
3 Tbl. ketchup
4 Tbl. pineapple juice (or lime, lemon or orange juice)
Combine and use to baste veggie kabobs or chicken. Just 1-2-3-4–easy, right?
– The Kosher Connection, an informal group of creative kosher food bloggers from all around the world, proudly present the first kosher recipe challenge. Each month we will present you with recipes on a different theme from all the kosher food bloggers.
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