Here at BBQ Island, we’re all about the meat. Tri-tip. Pulled pork. Brisket. Even fish, shrimp and chicken. But we also understand that there’s more to making good barbecue than knowing how to grill a steak. There’s being able to impress your best friend’s vegetarian wife, or cooking up side dishes that bring out the smoky flavor in a meaty entrée.


We’re talking about more than salt-crusted potatoes or mac n’ cheese – although those are delicious vegetarian dishes. Broccoli, eggplant and Brussels sprouts are amazing when prepared on a gas, pellet or charcoal grill. You can even use the rotisserie feature of our popular 30-inch Hestan Gas Grill to skewer and cook larger vegetables whole, or prepare cut vegetables in one of our pellet smokers for extra flavor.


If you’re looking to impress your guests, take it one step further with these more unusual veggie recipes from our good friend Johan of Big Swede BBQ. The first features sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes; a tuber that comes from a sunflower-like plant. It tastes like an artichoke, but with milder flavor and a crunchy texture.


INGREDIENTS:


Olive oil

1 lb. sunchokes

Dill

8 cloves black garlic

2 Tbs. black bean garlic sauce

1/2 tsp Five Spice powder

1/2 c. of Shao Xing rice

1/4 c. hoisin sauce

3 Tbs. agave nectar

2/3 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup white sugar


INSTRUCTIONS:

Start with the black garlic. Peel and finely mince.

Put garlic, rice wine, hoisin sauce, honey, sugar, bean sauce, and spice in a blender and puree.

Simmer the mixture in a large saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes until it bubbles and sauce begins to thicken. Set aside.

Set your smoker at 350 degrees and use fruit wood for flavor.

While you wait for the smoker to heat up. scrub the sunchokes thoroughly. Make sure that you rinse off all the dirt. When clean, cut the sunchokes in half.

Pour 3 Tbs. of Olive oil into an ovenproof pan.

Place sunchokes cut-side down in the pan and insert into smoker. Smoke the sunchokes for 20 minutes until they have softened slightly and browned. Turn and smoke for another 15 minutes.

After about 35 minutes, remove the pan from the smoker.

Dip the sunchokes into the BBQ sauce until covered. Place them in the pan again and smoke for 5 minutes. Repeat this procedure one more time.

Sprinkle dill over sunchokes. Serve while hot.

For a side dish or appetizer with a little more heat, try Johan’s blistered shishito peppers. This dish is easy to prepare, uses few ingredients and takes just five minutes to cook. It’s perfect for potluck dinners or as an accompaniment to an Asian-inspired family meal.


If you’ve never tried one before, shishito peppers are savory, small and much milder than jalapeños. However, according to the online pepper scale, one out of every ten or 20 shishitos will give your taste buds a little extra jolt of heat. Think of it as hot pepper roulette.


Grilling everyday veggies like zucchini, carrots or bell peppers is a breeze when you have a high-quality BBQ grill. Simply coat produce lightly with olive oil and dust with salt or herbs. Grill over medium heat until tender. 


Whether you keep your Brussels sprouts au naturel or indulge in one of Big Swede’s sweet-and-spicy recipes, the grill can help take your veggies from sidekick to star. Call 877-474-5669 or visit your nearest BBQ Island store for the best local selection of grills, smokers and BBQ accessories.