A Meatless BBQ Hearty Enough for Carnivores

By Lucy Cohen Blatter

Published June 29, 2011.
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Leah Koenig, author of the “Hadassah Everyday Cookbook,” and Forward Ingredients columnist, describes herself as 95% vegetarian, since she only eats ethically sourced kosher meat. So she understands the appeal of meat, but knows a whole lot about veggies. Here’s her meatless (and fake meat-less) barbecue menu:

Main Dish: Grilled Portobello Burgers

Marinate a Portobello mushroom cap in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs. Cook it on the grill for about 5 minutes. Top the Portobello with avocado, roasted red peppers, red onion, pickles, or any of your favorite burger toppings. Serve on a bun.

Side dish: Grilled Vegetables Slice zucchini length-wise. Combine zucchini and large slices of Portobello mushrooms in a bowl and marinate them in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs. Throw them on the grill for a few minutes, turning once.

Side dish: Grilled Polenta

You can buy packages of pre-formed polenta (usually sold in tubes) or make your own. If you choose to make your own, you’ll want to cook the polenta longer than the instructions say, and put it in the fridge to harden so that it’ll hold up to the grill. Brush or spray the polenta with a little canola oil or non-stick cooking spray before placing on the grill. You can serve it as is or skewer it with tomatoes and grill for a few minutes. Once it’s off the grill, add fresh basil and goat cheese.

Side Dish: Grilled Tzimmes

Place quartered pears, ¼-inch rounds of sweet potato, halved fresh apricots and 1-inch pieces of carrot (chopped vertically) into a mixing bowl with olive oil and salt. Grill carrots and sweet potatoes for about eight minutes, pear and apricots for about five. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour on top of grilled vegetables and fruit.

Side Dish: Bean Salad

Combine black beans, pinto beans, fresh corn, basil, lime zest and lime juice for a refreshing salad.

Dessert: Grilled Pineapple

Cut pineapple either into big spears or large circles. Dissolve some brown sugar in water so that it becomes a liquid, mix the sugar water with lime juice and brush it on the pineapple. Throw it on the grill until the pineapple is caramelized, about two to three minutes per side. To top it all off, smash ripe raspberries and mix them with a little bit of sugar and mint. Spoon the raspberry mixture on top of the pineapple pieces.


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