Grilling Green

Grilling Green

It's easy to build an entire menu with barbecued vegetables and other vegetarian options such as tempeh, tofu, tortillas, and even fruit. And the season begins early, when ramps or wild leeks are abundant. Simply brush them with olive oil, grill, then lightly dust with coarse salt for a delicate treat. Next up is asparagus, which deserves the same nofuss treatment. When summer arrives and the garden is brimming with fresh produce, break out the grill rack (a flat plate with a grid of holes placed over the grate), and grab a mix of whatever happens to be ripe (cauliflower, green beans, summer squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, peppers, baby carrots, broccoli), dice it up so it cooks evenly, and toss it on the rack. Without a grill rack, use longer, sturdier vegetables such as asparagus, sliced eggplant, portobello mushrooms, and corn on the cob.

For a late-summer menu, add grilled zucchini to a Greek salad, barbecue some tempeh for sandwiches piled high with homemade coleslaw, or layer lasagna with diced grilled onions, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and broccoli instead of ground beef. And as the shadows lengthen into September, remember that barbecue season doesn't end when the weather turns chill: Wrap potatoes, winter squash, rutabagas, and beets in foil and grill them, too.