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Vegetarian BBQ Feast

My meat-eating friends are often perplexed by what to serve a vegetarian at their backyard barbecue. Fortunately, there are a ton of options that are 1) not a frozen veggie burger slapped on a grill, 2) suitable for anyone to eat and 3) easy to make.

This picture represents my last grilling foray which included:

Grilled Green Beans [1] (placed on vegetable grill rack)
Grilled Beets [2] (placed on vegetable grill rack)
– Grilled Corn on the Cob (placed directly on grill)
– Marinated Grilled Eggplant (placed directly on grill – smaller pieces may need to be on vegetable rack)

Pictures of the grilled green beans and beets can be found by clicking the links above. I unfortunately did not take any after shots of the corn and eggplant. But, trust me, everything was delicious.

Pre-grill preparation was very quick involving either just a brushing of olive oil or a quick mix of marinade.

All told, it took about 15 minutes to cook everything. I put the corn and beets on the grill first. Then the green beans. Finally the grilled eggplant. The green beans and eggplant cooks quickly.

Grilled Corn on the Cob: If corn is fresh, there is no need to add oil or butter while cooking if you use the husks on the grill. Peel back corn husk and remove silk. Fold husks back up, cut off any “dangly” pieces at the top of the husk. (This prevents the husk from going too close to the flames and catch on fire.) Fill the sink or a pan with enough water to cover corn. Let corn soak for at least 10 minutes. Make sure all sides of the corn are in the soak. Place corn on pre-heated grill, try not to put on the hottest spot on the grill or the husk will cook too fast. Turn occasionally to ensure all sides are cooked equally for about 10-15 minutes or until kernels start to give when you poke them with a knife.  Add butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Marinated Eggplant: Grilled eggplant is so easy and delicious it’s almost sinful. It’s also impressive to serve as you can easily create grill marks and patterns on them. To prepare,  cut an eggplant into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Use a pre-made marinade of your choice. Any oil and vinegar-based salad dressing also works well, too. In the picture above I used a balsamic marinade meant for vegetables.

Place eggplant slices in marinade, make sure all sides are coated, and let sit for at least an hour. The longer it sits the better. Place on pre-heated grill. These take about 5-10 minutes to cook depending on the heat of the grill. Keep an eye on them as they tend to cook fast.

Grilled eggplant also transports well. Throw the raw slices and marinade in a ziploc bag and they are ready to place on a grill wherever that grill happens to be.