Brush on oil and get creative: tips for cooking a plant-based barbecue – The Guardian
Vegan barbecue is still an oxymoron for many, but as greater numbers of Australians turn to flexitarian diets, if not fully vegetarian or vegan, the meatless summer barbie is upon us.
I’ll admit, the idea of barbecue without a prime cut, or even a simple snag, is a compromise I’ve not yet made. But I love veggies, their versatility, how you can transform them with fire and coals, and I’ve increasingly favoured them as a predominant element of dishes, so now feels like the time to make the change to meatless, if only some of the time.
Kit-wise, when doing a vegetarian barbecue, you may want to consider a model that has both a flat plate and a grill – it’ll make it easier to cook both faux meat and raw veggies.
Tofu, meet marinade
Suzy Spoon started her Vegetarian Butcher back in 2012, first as a stall at Sydney’s Marrickville markets, before making a bricks-and-mortar commitment of a shopfront in nearby Newtown. Spoon says there are many great brands of sausages and burger patties and different seitan and gluten-based products that you can “jazz up”, but getting started with a meatless barbecue is as simple as a pack of tofu and a good marinade.
Plant-based burger patties. Eating them while hot is recommended as their texture can change when they cool. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images
Slicing up your tofu a couple of centimetres or so thick and putting it on paper towel allows you to push out some of the water, then when you put it in the marinade, the tofu soaks it up. “You know, like that old Colgate ad: like liquid into the chalk,” laughs Spoon. For the time poor, it could be a case of a quick dip for the tofu and straight onto the grill, but longer is always better when it comes to a marinade.
Spoon’s easy take is as simple as a measure of olive oil to a measure of soy sauce in a jar, shaken well into an emulsion. You could add a little bit of Dijon mustard, she says, using the marinade on tofu, mushrooms, eggplant or cauliflower.
Picking your veggies
You may grill asparagus, cauliflowers and the like whole, but skewers are a good way to prep in advance. At standing events, things on sticks are always a good move. Load them with …….