Vegetarians are (mostly) not here just to ruin your good time. Really. I swear. I was one, myself for seven years and all I wanted at a cookout was to hang out with my friends, and not have to worry that the omnivores would gobble up all the meat-free sides before I got to the table.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate the bounty of the season and make sure all my guests leave full and satisfied - no matter how they choose to chow down.
Scorpacciata is a term that means consuming large amounts of a particular local ingredient while it's in season. It's a good way to eat. Let Mario Batali pronounce it for you.
The first time my mother ever cooked for my father, she made okra. If the cuisine of my childhood provides any indication, there's an excellent chance that she defrosted a cube of pods, chucked them into a pot and boiled until floppy. Neither she nor my father is Southern or Indian in upbringing. Okra is not their birthright; they were clearly tempting fate.
My father chewed dutifully, likely made the appropriate "yummy" faces - until my mother took a bite and bolted for the sink. He quickly followed suit, and the story became the stuff of family legend - not to mention a family phobia.