Healthy Grilling Inspired By Cookbook Author Barton Seaver

Hunters shouldn't have all the fun.

"Cooking outdoors has a natural affinity for the gatherer," says Barton Seaver. Adding fruits and vegetables to the fire is healthy and, Seaver says, "brings some personality to your grilling."

Seaver should know: He's the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program director at Harvard's Center for Health and the Global Environment and the author of Where There's Smoke ($30).

We like a flame-charred hunk of animal as much as the next caveman (or cavewoman), but adding some flora to your grilling repertoire can really fill out a Labor Day feast. For the last installment of our month-long Take Back the Grill series, we pulled together recipes for an entirely meat free menu.

Start with Seaver's crunchy, smoky, nutty escarole salad, pictured above. Topped with fat slices of juicy caramelized grilled nectarines, ricotta salata and chopped walnuts, it's bright and interesting enough to hold its own against a seared rib-eye.

Stick it to boring kebabs: Our Test Kitchen's tofu skewers are mopped with a gingery, garlicky Indian-spiced barbecue sauce so good you'll want to use the leftovers on everything from vegetables to, ahem, steak.

Get a little husky: Grill your corn with the husks on to keep the kernels tender. Our Test Kitchen's Mexican-spiced cobs are dressed with Ancho chile, cotija cheese and a lighter take on the traditional mayo made with cottage cheese. (Yes, cottage cheese. Trust us here.)

Smoky meets sweet: When plump figs are quickly seared on the grill, their sweetness intensifies. Use them as an accompaniment to a silky panna cotta, like our almond version spiced with cardamom.