20 Vegetarian Memorial Day Recipes You'll Want to Make All Summer
Memorial Day weekend may be the celebratory moment you’ve been waiting for to fire up the grill, but it doesn’t have to be all about hot dogs and burgers. Summer’s unofficial kickoff also happens to be the perfect time to celebrate all the great produce that’s gracing the farmers market these days. Whether you’re looking for a vegetable-driven main or a fresh and fulfilling side, we’ve got a slew of great vegetarian recipes to serve this Memorial Day.
Beet Salad with Shiso
Try Chef Greg Baxtrom's beet and snow pea salad from the Olmstead in Brooklyn.
Corn Chaat with Tomato-Tamarind Chutney
Traditional chaat, an Indian street-food snack, throws every addictive flavor and texture together, from crunchy and fried to cool and creamy, tangy to sweet and fiery. Thomas uses grilled fresh corn for his summertime version.
Watermelon and Charred-Tomato Salad
Tim Byres uses a smart trick here: He sears the tomatoes on one side only, so they're fresh and smoky at the same time.
Grilled Flatbreads with Mushrooms, Ricotta and Herbs
This easy grilled flatbread—topped with sautéed mushrooms, fresh herbs and ricotta cheese—is perfect for outdoor entertaining.
Corn on the Cob with Seasoned Salts
"Walk to pick it, run to cook it," was the mantra back in the days when corn turned starchy within hours of harvesting. New varieties stay sweet and tender longer. Flavoring the ears here is a trio of seasoned salts.
Crispy Quinoa Sliders
Israeli Couscous and Tomato Salad with Arugula Pesto
Arugula pesto is peppery and bright. The trick is to blanch the arugula and squeeze it dry, so when you blend it with the pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and cheese, the resulting pesto isn’t too wet.
Grilled Tomato Salad with Mozzarella and Unagi Sauce
Chicago chef Stephanie Izard makes the ultimate summer salad with a creamy version of sweet-salty Japanese unagi sauce, which is typically brushed over eel.
Grilled Fava Bean Pods with Chile and Lemon
"Trust me," says chef Nate Appleman about this unorthodox recipe. He quickly grills whole fava beans, tosses them with a crushed red pepper dressing and serves them hot. They can be eaten whole—the tender pods develop a lovely charred flavor on the grill—but it's also easy to eat them in the traditional way by popping the beans out of their pods and outer skins.
Cracked New Potatoes with Fennel Raita
This veggie main uses every part of the fennel plant. Thomas quarters and grills the bulb until mellow and tender, dresses thinly sliced fresh stalks with lemon, and stirs the feathery fronds into a yogurt raita spiked with fresh ginger.
Grilled Polenta and Radicchio with Balsamic Drizzle
Chef Ryan Poli became interested in vegan cooking because his girlfriend follows a mostly vegan diet. "It was difficult to cook for her at home," he says. "I couldn't just open the fridge and make something. I had to really think." This relatively simple dish of grilled polenta and radicchio proves it's possible to create something deeply delicious, substantial and vegan with just a handful of ingredients.
Sugar Snap Peas with Soffrito, Hot Pepper and Mint
“It’s hard to improve upon a perfect sugar snap pea,” says chef Travis Lett. “The question for the chef is, how do you not screw it up?” Lett’s answer is to keep things simple, by cooking the sweet peas with fresh mint, crushed red pepper and soffrito (an aromatic Italian mix of sautèed minced vegetables, usually used to flavor soups and sauces).
Celery, Grilled Grape and Mushroom Salad
“Celery is a vegetable people either love or hate, and we try to get people to love all their vegetables,” says chef Amanda Cohen. She sets off celery’s bitterness and crunch with meaty oyster mushrooms and grapes that have been grilled until almost bursting.
Grilled-Fruit Bruschetta with Honey Mascarpone
This knife-and-fork dessert from chef Michael Glissman is a fantastic showcase for seasonal fruit at its peak; caramelizing the fruit on the grill intensifies its flavor. The grilled bread served alongside soaks up the sweet juices.
Summer Farro Salad
Chef Marco Canora simmers farro in water with sautéed onion, carrots and celery. The aromatic vegetables add delicate flavor to the cooked grains.
These incredibly simple pickles have just the right amount of garlic and dill and are intensely crunchy and refreshing right out of the refrigerator.
Grilled Eggplant Salad with Walnuts
Terrific as a salad or a spread for flatbread, adzhapsandali is like a Georgian version of ratatouille. Grilling the eggplant gives the dish a luscious, smoky flavor.
Roasted Zucchini with Ricotta and Mint
Flavored with fennel and cumin seeds, this quick side dish (or vegetarian main course) has a fun Indian flavor. While chef Sheamus Feeley likes to add pequin peppers, any chile flakes work well.
Grilled Fruit with Honeyed Lemon Thyme Vinegar
For this super-simple summer dessert, chef Dan Barber infuses honey with lemon thyme vinegar, then drizzles it over grilled summer fruit. Get the Recipe