We are smack dab in the middle of grilling season, which means you might’ve reached the point where you need some inspiration. Thankfully, this year's trove of new grilling cookbooks can get you out of your grilling rut. In particular, grilled vegetables get significant airtime in this crop of books, proving once again that summer outdoor cooking needn’t be all about burgers, steaks, and hot dogs.
The Outdoor Kitchen by Eric Werner and Nils Bernstein
You may not make it to chef Eric Werner's Tulum restaurant, Hartwood, this summer, but you can get a taste of his cooking with this new book. His approach to grilling accommodates the unpredictability of outdoor cooking instead of fighting against it, inviting readers to build their own outdoor kitchens. A robust vegetable section includes recipes for cauliflower steaks dressed with a glaze made of malty beer and raisins, and sweet potato pancakes with a honey-sweetened grilled applesauce. As is true for most grilling cookbooks, there are plenty of recipes steak and other proteins, like lamb T-bones with an apricot chutney infused with chamomile to add a “floral, apple-y” quality. Don’t forget to save room for smoked chocolate mousse.
Fire Smoke Green by Martin Nordin
If you’re prone to throwing unadorned vegetables on the grill (and it’s been making you a little bored), Martin Nordin’s completely vegetarian cookbook will serve you well. He is known for his Instagram-famous veggie burgers, and while this book has a few, it goes far beyond patties. Charcoal Roasted Leeks are a standout, but there are lots of other creative recipes for summer vegetables and legumes. Take his recipe for tortillas—made from fermented potato—which are used to contain smoky grilled chunks of king oyster mushrooms and roasted pineapple.
Texas Q by Cheryl Jamison
If you’ve had enough of me talking about vegetables, then sidle on over and take a look at Cheryl Jamison’s lovingly-gathered collection of Texas barbecue’s best, with a healthy side of history. Jamison puts in the work to show how Lone Star Q exists as a confluence of diverse food cultures, both in its origins and its current state. There are several rubs and a dozen or so riffs on briskets, and also many recipes highlighting the Filipino, Mexican, Vietnamese, Korean, and Creole influences (to name a few) that make Texas barbecue great.
Flavors of the Southeast Asian Grill by Leela Punyaratabandhu
Drawing from the dishes she enjoyed during her childhood in Thailand and her later travels around Southeast Asia, Leela Punyaratabandhu’s third cookbook explores some of her favorite preparations for grilled and smoked foods. Come for the Smoked Shrimp with Chili Lime Dipping Sauce and stay for the Spicy Grilled Pork Salad. Also included are useful tips, like how to properly thread meat onto a skewer, or how to fry up basil without it shriveling up (lightly mist it first).
The Baja California Cookbook by David Castro Hussong and Jay Porter
While chef David Castro Hussong and Jay Porter’s cookbook isn’t a grilling-focused tome per se, this celebration of Mexico’s Baja California wine country and the food that so beautifully accompanies its offerings happens to include a lot of recipes for the grill. The book takes you through the geography of the region, from the coast to the inner valleys, with many recipes coming together over the open flame. I’ve got my eye on the chocolate clams stuffed with queso asadero and poblano chiles, and the arrachera in a smokey, chipotle salsa negra, which can be cooked indoors or on the fire.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious