With the 4th of July coming up, our thoughts have turned toward grilling. Meat is always welcome. A good burger or brisket perhaps. But what else is there?
Welcome to our list of things to grill that aren’t meat! Assuming we’re all cool with the usual grillable veggies (onions, corn, asparagus, zucchini – ho hum) and the occasional fruit (pineapple or pears, anyone?), we thought we’d explore items that are sure to make an impression at your next BBQ.
#1 – Rice
Yes. Rice balls. Or cubes. Or whatever shape you fancy. Yaki Onigiri is the bomb. Remember on that season of Survivor when Boston Rob finally won? What food did they fight over? It was the crunchy toasted rice that stuck to the bottom of the pot. In Asia, that toasty/crunchy/grilled rice is a THING. A good thing.
#2 – Watermelon
What?! Now it seems like I’m messing with you, but there’s something special about grilled melon. Serious Eats has a fantastically simple recipe for grilled watermelon. Mark Bittman also has a recipe, but his is for watermelon burgers with cheese! And here’s a shout out to the other melons out there: cantaloupe and honey dew. They look good in stripes, too.
#3 – Romaine Hearts
Kristin Schell has a beautifully simple recipe for grilled romaine, and Fine Cooking has one a little more involved that features homemade blue cheese dressing. If you’re feeling adventurous, try other hearty leafy greens: kale, iceberg, radicchio, endive, or baby bok choy. Bittman has a recipe for cabbage, teriyaki style.
#4 – Jicama
Get your root vegetables on! Here’s an undervalued veggie with huge potential. Bittman has the above recipe from Cooking Light and another with chili powder and queso, but I like it simple: grilled with a little fresh squeeze lime and some Tajin or shichimi togarashi. You can grill other root vegetables, too: daikon, yams, carrots, and beets.
#5 – Bread
Why not? Kebab it with other stuff or grill whole slices. We’re not talking about Wonder Bread but rather rustic loaves, like a ciabatta or batard. City Mama keeps it simple, but if you’re looking to impress, Bon Appétit can help you to gussy it up. Finally, White on Rice Couple‘s ode to grilled bread will make you wonder why bread isn’t #1 on the list.
For something a little sweet–say, for dessert–consider grilling pound cake or angel food cake. It’s like bread, only better. Top with berries and cream.
Got a recipe for something unusual to grill? Let us know!