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Mixed Families and the Barbecue

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You’re an American Mixed Family—by which I mean a family combining vegetarian, carnivore, and possibly vegan at the family board. So what, WHAT could be more American than a Mixed Barbecue?

Here’s one idea.

Barbecued sausage sandwiches, and barbecued Portobello mushroom sandwiches besides. Both wrapped in pita bread slathered with Dijon mustard and covered with fried onions. To go with: potato salad with dill, and some iced tomato soup.

Like this:

Heat the barbecue.

Slice thinly as many onions as you like. At least one for each of you. Put them in olive oil on low heat in a heavy pan (on the stove or the barbecue) and let them cook for as long as it takes to get them smelling great and turning golden.  You can always take them off the heat when they get there, and then put them back on, giving a quick stir to reheat before the actual sausage/mushroom event. (Nice to add a little soy sauce before the final heat up.)

To proceed:

Take the sausage of each carnivore’s choice. Better take two just in case.  (Give ‘em a pierce with a fork so they don’t burst.)

Put them on one side of the barbecue.

Take the Portobello mushrooms of your choice (definitely take two, at least, per vegetarian, but more will never be harmful; they’re great cold later). Roll in some salted olive oil.

Put them on the other side of the barbecue.

While these grill, heat up as many pita breads as you think you’re going to need.  (For the gluten-free, corn tortillas are nice.) Wrap them all in foil and stick in the toaster oven at 325 degrees for about fifteen minutes.  (You can also sprinkle the contents with a little water, and put the package on the barbecue to steam while everything else cooks.)

While you wait, I recommend goblets of iced tomato soup. Or similar. Gets the party going nicely.

When the sausages and the mushrooms are just about done, add to the tops of the latter some sliced cheese, or a mix of chopped tomato, garlic and herbs.

Shut the barbecue lid to let the cheese melt (or to warm the tomato/herb mixture). On plates, lay a bed of shredded lettuce and spoon out the potato salad on top. Put the pita breads (or tortillas) beside the salad, slather with Dijon mustard if liked, heap with onions.

Then on the carnivore plates, plunk down sausages. Right on the onions atop the pita bread. On the vegetarian plates, do the same with the mushrooms.  

Sit down and have at it.


Congratulate yourself silently on your tolerance, and try not to be too envious of anyone else’s sandwich. Remember, you don’t need to be doctrinaire about this. If one of you wants a bite of the sandwich across the way, we trust that Love and Generosity will prevail. On both sides.


As, we hope, it will in other areas of life as well.


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