It’s Hot Outside, Time for Meatless Grilling
It’s grilling season. I know that for many vegetarians, the grill seems like “meat territory,” and best left to the burger and hotdog folks. If you’ve fallen out of practice wth the grill, it’s time to get in the groove with meatless grilling. In the heat of summer, the grill is the place to cook, if for no other reason than that it doesn’t heat up your house.
Take this Grilled Corn Salsa with Avocado Tostadas. We can make the whole affair over a hot grill, then whisk it safely to the air-conditioned dining room, if it’s just too hot out. You probably didn’t know that you could make tasty corn chips and tostada shells on the grill, but just watch- it’s easy!
Get into Meatless Grilling, Mexican-Style
In this recipe, I grill the tomatoes, corn and hot peppers, for a bit of charred flavor in the salsa. The heat sweetens the corn, giving it a bit of caramelization as it cooks. My skewered grape tomatoes become soft and juicy, as their skins blister and blacken. Two hot chilies mellow and become friendly, and it is easy to slip the skin away, if you choose to do so.
The real fun starts when you grill fresh chips and tostada shells. Instead of buying a bag of tortillas, serving tacos once or twice, then watching them languish in the fridge, I now make them into grilled chips and shells. No need to heat a pot of oil to deep fry your tortillas, when the grill will make them into crispy chips in a couple of minutes.
More Recipes for The Grill
Grilled Corn Pizza with Korean Flavors: Corn Meets Kimchi or Grilled Pizza with Edible Flowers are perfect for making your won pizza outside. If you are looking for a really delicious appetizer, try Grilled Collard Rolls, or an easy Smoked New Potato Salad.
A Secret Benefit to the Meatless Grill
If you’ve ever opened up a typical meat eaters grill, well, my grill looks a bit different. Yes, instead of burnt grease, my grill is seasoned with a bit of oil, charred to a blackened surface. I don’t have to spend hours scraping. Whatever is left on the grate burns up when I preheat the grill to cook again.
When you grill vegetables, you are also avoiding the possible cancer risks associated with charred meats. Grilled plant foods carry none of the risk, so go ahead and get a little char. It adds a tiny note of bitterness and smoke that makes your veggie salsa taste more complex, and dare I say, meatier?
Fire Up The Grill and Seize the Summer
I live in Minnesota, where we learn to savor summer. When it’s hot as blazes, we remember that just a few short months ago, we were shoveling mountains of snow in sub-zero temperatures. Think like a Minnesotan and seize the summer. It’s fleeting and this grill recipe is a perfect way to get outside and enjoy it.
Grilled Corn Salsa and Avocado Tostadas
- 2 medium corn on the cob shucked
- 2 cups grape tomatoes
- 2 jalapenos
- avocado oil for brushing
- 1 cup cooked black beans rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves chopped
- salt to taste
- corn tortillas
- 1 large avocado
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 large pinch salt
- Preheat the grill to high.
- Shuck corn and brush with oil, place on the hot grill. Skewer the tomatoes, brush with oil and place on the grill. Skewer the peppers and oil, place on the grill.
- Cook the corn for about 2 minutes per side, until browned and tender. Turn the tomato and pepper skewers every couple of minutes until they are blackened and soft.
- Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Coarsely chop the tomateo and transfer to a bowl. Cut the corn from the cobs and add to the bowl. Strip the skins from the peppers, if desired, and slice the flesh away from the seeds and membranes. Chop the flesh and add to the bowl.
- Add the black beans, salt and mint, toss to mix.
Tostadas and Chips
- Brush each corn tortilla with oil on both sides, then place on the grill. Cook for about a minute per side, until marked and firm. Transfer to the cutting board and cut in 4 wedges per tortilla for chips, or leave whole for tostadas.
- To assemble, mash avocados with salt and lime. Spread avocado on each tostada shell and top with salsa. Serve immediately.