How to Grill Vegetables: The New Bible for Barbecuing Vegetables over Live Fire (Steven Raichlen Barbecue Bible Cookbooks)
“Steven Raichlen takes the guesswork out of grilling different kinds of vegetables from beets to radishes to cauliflower, corn, and endive. . . . This book is truly a bible for home cooks who want to add a variety of tastes, textures, and vegetables to the menu.”
Do we really need another cookbook on how to grill vegetables? You certainly do, if it’s written by renowned cookbook author and TV host Steven Raichlen. Turns out Chef Raichlen can still teach us a thing or two about how to turn vegetables into mouth-watering grilled dishes.
Whether you want to add more vegetables to your plate or are looking to up your grilling game, Raichlen has you covered in his book, How to Grill Vegetables: The New Bible for Barbecuing Vegetables over Live Fire.
In this cookbook, home cooks and barbecue fans will discover the secrets of cooking vegetables over live fire. From tantalizing dishes such as Smoked Guacamole to Grilled Okra with sesame and shiso (perilla leaf) to Hasselback Apples, this book is sure to inspire everyone to eat more vegetables. A note: This is not a vegetarian cookbook and meat lovers will learn how to use meat and seafood to enhance vegetables.
Like any good cookbook, there are numerous mouth-watering recipes and eye-popping photographs, but it is also chock full of information on grilling. In the first chapter, the reader will learn “how to grill vegetables like a pro in 9 easy steps.”
Raichlen then takes the reader through all nine steps in great detail which include: Select your grill/smoker; Find your fuel; Gather your gear; Master the basic grilling and smoking techniques; Master the specialized grilling and smoking techniques; Fire it up; Dial in the right temperature; Practice good grill management; and Keep in mind how grilling vegetables is different.
These nine steps contain important information for both the novice and experienced cooks. For example: what is best choice in equipment? There are many choices from charcoal grill, Hibachi, drum grill, kamado grill, gas grill, wood-burning grill, or pellet grill. If all this seems overwhelming, Raichlen presents the information in an easy-to-read format. He has grilling hacks to help the home cook make the most of the grill.
He writes, “When direct grilling, build a tiered fire, with a hot zone in the back (or on one side) for searing, a medium zone in the center for cooking, and a fire-free safety zone in the front (or on the opposite side) for dodging flare-ups or keeping food warm.”
Raichlen generously shares useful tips on how to keep vegetables moist, tender, and flavorful. An added bonus of cooking with vegetables is that “it takes about 1,800 gallons of water to raise a single pound of beef and 576 gallons to raise a pound of pork while it takes only 216 gallons of water to grow a pound of soybeans or 108 gallons to grow a pound corn.” So you can feel good about choosing vegetables to throw on the hot grill.
Vegetables are versatile, and Raichlen’s book highlights this with delicious recipes from the Starters and Pass-Arounds to Vegetable Small Plates and Desserts.
Everything can be grilled, according to this author, and so he smokes chickpeas to create an unusual Smoked Hummus. Lettuce is treated to the fire and emerges sweet, succulent, and full of smoky flavor. Even avocadoes aren’t spared. This creamy fruit reaches a new dimension on the grill. It is perfect in salsa or dip and even enhances pizza.
Pizza, pita bread, quesadilla, khachapuri (Georgian egg and cheese pizza), flatbreads, and of course sandwiches can all be made on the grill or live fire.
Raichlen gives eggs and cheese a taste of live fire which imparts a smoky perfume to the cooked eggs. When firm salty cheese like halloumi is grilled, it gets soft and puffs up without melting. He serves this delicacy with rosewater and honey. Indian paneer cheese (with vegetable kebabs) is buttery and rich after being grilled and served with saffron butter it becomes the most flavorful grilled cheese.
Planking, cooking food on wooden planks, gives food an extra-smoky flavor. Planked Brie cheese with fig jam and walnuts is a pile of oozy, gooey goodness, ready to be served with grilled bread.
End a long day of grilling with something sweet like Cinnamon Fruit Skewers with mint julep glaze or Grilled Banana Pudding.
Steven Raichlen takes the guesswork out of grilling different kinds of vegetables from beets to radishes to cauliflower, corn, and endive. Grilling vegetables can be tricky because each vegetable is different and so Raichlen has compiled a list of key vegetables and a quick how-to grill them at the end of the book. This book is a true bible for home cooks wanting to add a variety of tastes, textures, and vegetables to the menu.