Good news. Even if the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can still enjoy a rocking, summer-is-finally-here Memorial Day cookout inside your NYC apartment. “You don’t need to wait for a sunny day to dust off your hibachi,” says Jolinda Hackett, veggie chef extraordinaire who’s a big proponent on the indoor electric grill.
Hackett’s the brains behind Cookouts Veggie Style!, which is the new bible of vegetarian grilling. She’s also a believer that meatless doesn’t mean boring.
“Moving meat out of the picture opens the doors for some serious creativity,” she says. “If you’ve never tried grilled romaine, sunchokes, apricots, or endive, you simply must! Even some of the more standard grill favorites become reborn with a touch of sauce.”
She also recommends grilled cheese, vegetarian grilled polenta, paninis, and more. For a Memorial Day treat, try her Eggplant Pizza Rounds—she’s sharing the recipe here! —Catherine Pearson
Eggplant Pizza Rounds
Who needs a crust to make pizza? Grill up some eggplant topped with pizza sauce, cheese and, Italian spices. Use vegan cheese, if you’d like. This one is great for gluten-free folks, as well.
1 large eggplant, sliced 3/4 to 1 inch thick
Oil for brushing
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup – 2/3 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (vegan or not)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Optional pizza toppings: pineapple, sliced olives, vegetarian pepperoni
1) Brush eggplant slices with oil on both sides, and sprinkle with garlic salt. Place on grill and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender, but not too soft.
2) Carefully spread a bit pizza sauce on each slice, then sprinkle with Italian seasonings and mozzarella cheese. Place any additional pizza toppings on top of the cheese.
3) Return eggplant pizzas to the grill and heat for another 2-3 minutes, until cheese melts.