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Non solo carne

What to grill instead of meat?

Full grill: what to grill besides meat?

Grilling with family or friends doesn't need meat to be delicious and captivating, you can in fact experiment with cheeses, fruit and vegetables to create healthy and tasty dishes ranging from appetizers to desserts.

During the summer we love to spend time in company, perhaps organizing outdoor parties in the garden or on the balcony with family or friends. An excellent idea to share moments of carefree and relaxation is to organize a barbecue.

However, in recent years, meat is no longer seen as the sole ingredient for organizing a perfect BBQ menu, either due to growing culinary experimentation, the desire to add a few more flavors as a side dish to grilled meat or because changes in eating habits.

In fact, there are some people who don't like meat, others who follow a vegetarian diet or others who simply want to enjoy something different for once.

Fortunately, there are many tasty alternatives to enrich our barbecue menu with tasty and original flavours, ranging from appetizers to desserts. Furthermore, barbecue cooking is simple and traditional, which allows you to use fewer condiments and enhance the natural flavor of each food, keeping their nutritional properties intact.

Tasty alternatives to meat to cook on the BBQ

Grilled vegetables: color and taste

If you think that barbecue is only for meat lovers, you might think again. Even vegetables, if used with a little creativity, can be the protagonists of your barbecue. For those who prefer a more traditional approach, there are some vegetables that are particularly suitable for grilling, such as mushrooms, aubergines, peppers, tomatoes, radicchio or courgettes, but do you know that we can also prepare tasty sliced ​​or baked potatoes, fennel and pre-cooked corn cobs?

Oh yes, because the flavor of the vegetables is not only enhanced if steamed or pan-cooked, but with gentle BBQ cooking and used to create a colorful skewer, they also provide a very pleasant smoked aftertaste: perfect to season even with just a drizzle of oil.

And, if you need some ideas on what to pair with the meat you are cooking on the grill, we recommend our in-depth articles.

5 vegetables to pair with pork

5 vegetables to pair with beef

5 vegetables to pair with chicken meat

To prevent the vegetables from becoming too dry during cooking, we recommend marinating them first and then cooking them over moderate heat and covering with aluminum foil.

W grilled cheeses!

Cheeses can be a great choice for your next barbecue, in addition to Italian meats and grilled vegetables. However, it is important to choose the right qualities of cheese as not all are suitable for this cooking.

Soft cheeses, for example, are not suitable as they tend to melt completely with the heat - but they are perfect for hot bread bruschetta that perhaps we have grilled first.

Among the most suitable cheeses for the grill we find tomino, pan di cacio, smoked scamorza and hard cheeses in general.

Unlike meat, cheese needs to be cooked over medium heat and requires a lot of attention. When it starts to melt, it should be turned with a spatula and after about a minute it should be removed from the heat and placed on a preheated serving plate. As for the condiments, the most suitable ones vary according to the type of cheese, but in general, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper are sufficient.

For example, in addition to the classic tomino, we recommend the Pan di Cacio which has a very sweet and buttery flavor and is suitable for serving as a grilled cheese, accompanied by vegetables.

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Barbecue desserts and fruit to grill

Fruit can be excellent if heated or cooked on the barbecue, not only as a dessert, but also as an appetizer paired with cheese or as an accompaniment to meat and vegetables.

Which fruit to barbecue? Technically, any fruit can be cooked on the grill, a small negative parenthesis is found with citrus fruits and berries which could fall apart.

Strawberries, pears, apples, grapes, peaches and melons, for example, are excellent when grilled. The best way to cook fruit on the grill is to cut it into cubes of the same thickness and thread it onto the appropriate wooden skewers.

But we can also recreate baskets with foil and put a mini fruit salad to heat and serve with chocolate on top as soon as we remove them from the heat.

Before cooking it, however, it is important to let it marinate for about an hour in a syrup made with sugar, water or a little liqueur. These are just a few examples of how fruit can become the protagonist of your barbecues.

Wildcard 1: Grilled pineapple

If you are passionate about exotic flavors, pineapple could be a great choice for your barbecue. After peeling it, cut it into circular slices and brush each slice with a little olive oil. Cook them on the grill for a couple of minutes on both sides and you will discover how grilled pineapple can be an excellent dessert, as demonstrated by various oriental cuisine recipes.

Jolly 2: Bananas with grilled apricots

To prepare a delicious and original dessert, you can try grilled bananas with apricot smoothie. Start by blending the apricots together with a little sugar, then peel the bananas and cut them in half lengthwise. Brush them with a little butter and cook them on the hot grill. When they are ready, cut them into small slices and arrange them on portion plates with a veil of apricot smoothie. Add a sprinkling of brown sugar and some fresh mint to garnish - you don't mind some good cream ice cream too.

Barbecue meat substitutes

Barbecue tofu

Oh yes, that's it, tofu! Before grilling the tofu, it is important to marinate it for at least half an hour in a mixture of soy sauce, EVO oil and aromatic herbs to taste, such as sage, rosemary or chopped thyme.

To make it crunchier, you can add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or a little brown sugar to the marinade. The tofu slices can be placed directly on the grill, or cut into cubes to create skewers by alternating the tofu with cherry tomatoes, peppers, olives or other vegetables.

BBQ seitan

To get a delicious grilled seitan dish, the first important step is marinating. Prepare a mixture of white wine, apple or rice vinegar, lemon or lime juice and pepper, in which to rest the seitan for about 40 minutes before cooking. Once marinated, seitan can be grilled into slices or cut into small pieces to prepare - as with tofu - super tasty skewers with mixed vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, peppers and courgettes.