Independence Day is all about the burgers and hot dogs for a lot of people, but that doesn't mean that vegetarians (or plain vegetable lovers like me) can't celebrate their independence with a whole mess of smoky, charred, grilled foods and delicious side dishes as well. I'm going to be out of the country this July 4th (I know!), but in my head, this is the menu I'd be serving at my backyard cookout.
'vegetarian' on Serious Eats
Crunchy toasted pine nuts and lemony sumac are great partners for eggs scrambled softly in extra-virgin olive oil.
There are lots of tabbouleh recipes in the world, but many give instructions that can lead to a sopping wet salad with bulgur that's too hard to eat. This one uses pre-salting steps to remove excess moisture from the tomatoes and parsley, then uses the water drained from the tomatoes to soak the bulgur until tender and flavorful. A hint of spices adds complexity and depth.
This grilled potato salad offers a range of textures—crispy, crunchy, and creamy—with a nice smokiness from the grill balanced by a tart grilled lemon vinaigrette flavored with scallions and shallots. The key is par-cooking the potatoes and roughing them up a bit for extra crunch.
Vegans and vegetarians often get the short end of the stick when it comes to backyard grilling season. Sure, there are a couple of decent frozen veggie burger brands, but let's face it: Frozen pre-packaged food is never going to be as good as fresh, homemade food made with quality ingredients. Here are two recipes for burger patties that aren't just my favorite vegetarian and vegan burgers, they're two of my favorite recipes, period.
Morel mushrooms are great as a side dish for, say, roasted chicken or in your omelet, but true lovers of these spring treats know that they're best in more concentrated doses. It doesn't get much better than a buttery open-faced morel mushroom sandwich like this one.
Blanched and peeled fava beans that are roughly chopped and served on top of a goat cheese tartine with Marcona almonds and a few sprigs of chervil: This is the kind of toast you eat all by yourself while hiding in the kitchen so that nobody can steal a bite.
Fresh blanched asparagus and mint pair with creamy ricotta cheese on this simple spring open-faced sandwich. The key is to get the best ingredients and treat them as simply as possible.
Morels are one of the most delicious signs of spring, and with just a little work, they're incredibly easy to prepare and cook. Here are the basic steps to get them ready for the frying pan, and then what to do to make them as delicious as possible.
In Italian, a pasticcio is a mess. In the case of polenta pasticciata, it's a glorious, wonderful, rib-sticking mess, made by layering soft polenta with lasagna-like fillings, then baking it until browned on top. Here, we fill it with a rich mushroom ragù, then drizzle a cheesy Parmesan cream all over it.
One of the problems with a lot of vegetarian stir-fry recipes is they can quickly become monotonous, with the same old lineup of vegetables and tofu each and every time. Don't get us wrong—some of those can be delicious—but as Buddha's Delight reminds us, there's so much more vegetarian stir-fry potential, if we just know how to tap it.
Making huevos rancheros—rancher's-style eggs—is an inherently impromptu and simple affair at home. Briefly fry some corn tortillas to soften them, add a couple of crisply fried, runny-yolked eggs, and ladle on plenty of salsa. That's it. Everything else is just window-dressing. It's easy for me to think of huevos rancheros as a dish so darn casual that it doesn't even need a recipe. But then I wouldn't be doing my job, now would I? My goal was to come up with a recipe for huevos rancheros with a smoky and wickedly spicy tomato and red chili salsa that requires nothing more than basic supermarket pantry staples. And I wanted it all in under half an hour, because who has time to wait for breakfast?
Tender-crisp asparagus and firm tofu tossed in a fiery-sweet Sichuan-style vinaigrette made with roasted chilies and Sichuan peppercorns.
I love gnocchi. At least, I love the gnocchi in my mind. Light, pillowy, flavor-packed, they're the perfect vessel for a good red sauce. The big problem? Potato gnocchi take a long time and are far from foolproof. Say hello to their quick, easy, and delicious ricotta-based cousins.
I've been on a tamale pie kick ever since updating my mom's classic recipe a couple months ago by adding a brown butter cornbread crust. Essentially an olive-packed chili baked underneath a sweet cornbread crust, it's an all-in-one comfort classic. This 100% vegetarian version is no different.
I've been on a tamale pie kick ever since updating my mom's classic recipe a couple months ago by adding a brown butter cornbread crust. Essentially an olive-packed chili baked underneath a sweet cornbread crust, it's one of the all-in-one comfort classics that never fails to bring big smiles and full bellies in its wake. This 100% vegetarian version is no different.
There's a version of pasta e fagioli for just about every region, province and household in Italy, from brothy ones packed with vegetables to creamy ones made only with beans and pasta. This one belongs to that latter group, and the secret to its greatness is all in the beans themselves.
Gan bian si ji dou—Sichuan-style dry-fried green beans with chilies and pickles—are one of the best and most mistranslated vegetable dishes in the world. Today that dish and I are on a road trip back to authenticity, and we're going to be driving that minibus over some uncharted territory.
Gan bian si ji—Sichuan-style dry-fried green beans with chilies and pickles—are one of the best and most mistranslated vegetable dishes in the world. Today that dish and I are on a road trip back to authenticity, and we're going to be driving that minibus over some uncharted territory.
The ultimate party snack, now in a 100% animal product-free form. This vegan queso dip is packed with a gooey cashew and potato-based nacho sauce, soy-lentil chorizo, avocados, scallions, tomatoes with chilies, and black beans. The flavor is so good even your omnivore friends won't know that it's vegan.