I’m going to a potluck dinner party that’s fire themed-- grill or torch cooking required. There’s already lots of meat and dessert options, so I’d like to do a vegetarian dish, vegan if possible.
My initial thoughts are a grilled vegetable salad or something with grilled cabbage. But it would be a lot cooler if could come up with a recipe that would benefit from a torch at the end more so than the heat of a grill. Any ideas? A quick maillard reaction with a Searzall torch does wonders for a piece of sous vide meat, but other than melting sugar or cheese, I can’t think of a place for it with vegetables, grains, or starches that wouldn’t be better with a cast-iron skillet.
I love doing a whole roasted cauliflower - not only is it really delicious but it’s also a rather dramatic table presentation. I follow the cooking method from this ny times recipe, depends on the size of the cauli and your oven how long it takes. Once it’s tender all the way through you could certainly torch the outside to get nice browned crispy bits. I like to do a chimmichuri sauce with instead of what’s in this recipe because the bright green is also rather dramatic and the contast of the fresh herbs with the roasted veg is great. I just dribble the sauce over the whole head just before serving. Vegan with the chimmichuri
Or the broccoli roast from SK is fantastic, and you could also certainly torch it at the end. If you multiply the recipe you don’t need to multiply the rub since one recipe worth makes enough for two or three batches of broccoli. Omit the cheese garnish and it’s vegan
This creative take on the spanish calcots with romesco uses leeks that are steamed and then grilled (which i think is a much better substitute than scallions) and served with the romesco
Blackened variety peppers stuffed with something good. I blacken peppers with a torch and scrape the blackened skin off but a little stays behind since I’m not usually meticulous about removing all traces of charred skin. Would fit your not meat not dessert requirement
The roasted cauli is basically flop in the oven and forget it. The recipe says base a few times and i just do that once at 30min. I poke it around an hour to see how done it is (i stab it with a long knife) and then either pull it or give it another 10min or whatever. To overcook it too soft would take some effort, it’s rather forgiving and in the oven cooks kind of slowly.
I love cauliflower steaks but have had hit or miss success since sometimes they’re delicate to flip or i just get three good slices and a lot of extra crumblies per head. If you have had success with them i think that’s also a great option, that recipe looks delicious!
I was going to suggest the same - either Cauliflower or Broccoli. Both taste great with singed edges. The cauliflower recipe is good and you could add some whole roasted almonds or hazelnuts for crunch and some freshly picked mint leaves for colour. The broccoli also works very well with an anchovy butter.
I have found the tricky think is to get it to cook through with charring it too much rather than it going soft.
Thinking vegan, I might go for a grilled romaine vegan Caesar salad. I really like charred romaine–just half and place on grill until charred on both sides. I’ve made and liked the vegan dressing at this site before. As Caesar salad goes, you could also do the croutons on the grill–either in a pan (with olive oil and pressed garlic and salt), or grill bread slices brushed with olive oil, and rub with garlic cloves as you would for bruschetta (in reality, the bests veg on the grill are roasted peppers and tomatoes, but we’re in opposite season now).
Charred cabbage also sounds good, but romaine is easier.
It seems that sck has found asparagus in our markets recently, which also tops the list of vegetables that are better grilled. It seems early to me, but if you got 'em, grill 'em.
Also, for vegetarian, but not vegan I was a huge fan of fig leaf wrapped cheese (use any melting cheese, oil and salt fig leaves) when there was a tree in the back yard. Maybe add some honey or fig preserves (or ham!) to the cheese.