With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to gather with friends and family for al fresco dining and backyard barbecues. But entertaining can be a little trickier if you or your guests adhere to a vegetarian diet. The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables during this season offers a wealth of options for hearty, delicious, and nutritious vegetarian meals that are sure to be a hit at your summer parties.
Grilled Vegetable Skewers
Start with a quintessential summer dish: grilled vegetable skewers. The vibrant combination of zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and red onions marinated in a blend of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs gives a satisfying crunch and depth of flavor. These skewers can be prepared in advance and quickly cooked on the grill just before serving, making them a practical choice for larger gatherings.
Quinoa Salad with Summer Vegetables
A quinoa salad makes a light, yet filling, addition to any summer meal. Mixed with fresh summer vegetables like bell peppers, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes, this protein-packed grain provides sustenance and a pleasant textural contrast. A dressing of lemon juice and olive oil rounds out the flavors. Best served chilled, this salad can be prepared ahead of time, freeing you to enjoy the party.
Chilled Avocado Soup
Cooling and refreshing, a chilled avocado soup is perfect for a hot summer day. Blending ripe avocados with cucumber, yogurt, garlic, and a touch of jalapeño yields a velvety soup that can be garnished with diced tomatoes or corn. This no-cook dish, with its vibrant green color, brings both style and substance to your table.
Eggplant and Tomato Stacks
Eggplant and tomato stacks make for a striking entrée. Thick slices of eggplant and tomato are grilled to perfection, then stacked with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. The stacks are topped with a balsamic reduction that brings a sweet tanginess to the dish, while the mozzarella melts into a delectable creaminess under the summer sun.
Grilled Portobello Burgers
For a heartier option, try grilled Portobello burgers. Marinated in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, garlic, and olive oil, these mushroom caps are then grilled until they’re tender and juicy. Served on a bun with all your favorite fixings – lettuce, tomato, avocado, or even a slice of grilled pineapple for a tropical twist – they’re a satisfying meatless alternative to traditional burgers.
Peach and Blueberry Crumble
No summer meal is complete without a sweet ending. A peach and blueberry crumble perfectly embodies the spirit of the season. Juicy, ripe peaches and tangy blueberries are tossed in a bit of sugar and lemon juice, then topped with a crumbly oat and almond mixture. After baking until golden and bubbly, this dessert is best served warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
These vegetarian recipes are not just healthy and delicious, but also colorful and eye-catching, making them ideal for summer entertaining. Each dish takes advantage of the season’s bounty and is designed to please both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. So as you plan your next summer gathering, consider adding one or more of these dishes to your menu. Not only will they add a burst of color and variety to your table, but they’ll also demonstrate how wonderfully diverse and satisfying vegetarian cuisine can be.