Ah, ’tis the season.
The Fourth of July is around the corner, and it’s time to sport your jorts, wave dinky flags, and most importantly, get barbecuing. News flash: There’s more to throw on the barbie than shrimp, hotdogs, and hamburgers. Become the true grill master. Here are some easy recipes that’ll have people thinking you actually know what you’re doing.
Stuffed bell peppers are great! They’re even better grilled to a perfect burnt red and yellow.
STUFFING: Heat olive oil in a medium pan and fry pine nuts with rice, garlic, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes or until the rice is right. Add in onions, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh herbs, and whatever else you want in there: feta cheese, couscous, you name it.
PEPPERS: Empty the goddamn things, then stuff ‘em. If you need help with this, check yourself. Wrap them in kitchen string or foil. Head to the grill.
GRILLED SWEET POTATO
Both spicy and sweet, kind of like that girl you met on vaca last summer with your family in Punta Cana, except these won’t turn sour like she did.
POTATOES: Peel the potatoes and slice ‘em up. Place them on foil and cover them in olive oil, thyme leaves, salt, pepper, and chilli seasoning. Throw the whole thing, including the foil, over the hottest part of the barbecue and cool until those sweeties are soft.
BBQ PULLED JACKFRUIT
I know. What? This one’s probably tougher, and you’ll need a slow cooker. Impress your friends or something.
JACKFRUIT: Buy this stuff in 20 ounce cans. Drain and wash it several times, then squeeze out all the water. Heat olive oil with some garlic in a pan, sauté, and add jackfruit with salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Place it in a slow cooker, add BBQ sauce, and mix. Leave it for an hour. Take it out. Let it sit overnight, and it will taste better.
SANDWICH: Slap that BBQ’d Jack in between some buns. Add coleslaw and pickles if you must. Pulled pork sandwich without the pork. Voila.
Seriously, so good and so easy.
PINEAPPLE: Buy one. Slice it into bite-sized chunks. The canned stuff would work fine, too. Mix it up in a bowl with some agave nectar and lime juice. Sprinkle cinnamon over it. Place those chunks on the grill for a few minutes. Tastes like Christmas in Hawaii. For some flame, subtract the cinnamon. Add red onion and cilantro.
Other ideas: grilled portabella mushroom burgers, grilled tofu skewers, veggie dogs and burgers, zucchini, any veggie at all. (They all taste good grilled. Veggies are hard to mess up. Just wing it. It’s the Amurrikan way.)
GINA CURRERI WRITES THE VEG HEAD COLUMN IN BETWEEN STUFFING HER FACE. FOLLOW HER @GINACURRERI FOR NONSENSE AND OCCASIONALLY REAL SENSE.