Barbeques are the most fun summertime treat, but some of the most delicious BBQ foods are often overlooked in favour of standard meats. Fish, vegetables and even fruit are all enhanced by cooking on a barbeque, so don’t overlook them, and be a little adventurous.
Here are a few simple recipe ideas for things to cook on your barbecue:
This is as easy as it sounds, and if you have skewers at home then so much the better. Simply roughly chop your favorite quick cook vegetables – zucchini/courgette, asparagus, peppers, tomatoes, aubergine/eggplant, onion, garlic, mushrooms, par-boiled sweet potatoes. Then pop them in a little marinade, of olive oil, vinegar, seasoning and herbs (of your choice), in a zip lock bag to rest for at least half an hour, to take on all that extra flavour.
You could be a bit sneaky and pop a little halloumi in between some of the vegetables, to give it a little extra salty kick. Or, add a few soaked chunks of bread, which will turn into croutons whilst cooking and release a beautiful deep flavour.
Pop your marinated vegetables onto skewers and cook over a medium heat barbeque, constantly turning to ensure all sides are evenly cooked.Serve with a green salad, some homemade tzatziki (mix together grated cucumber, thick yogurt, olive oil and dill) and a glass of wine.
This recipe is open for negotiation, you can make it spicy, sweet, sticky, tangy, peppery…whatever flavours you most enjoy. Start by buying some delicious free range or organic chicken breasts, which you then should chop up into thin strips.
Then decide on your marinade: lemon, chili, lime, honey, mustard, Provencal herbs, pesto, soy sauce, orange, garlic, Moroccan spice rub, coca cola, brown sugar, paprika, maple syrup, beer, wine, ginger, tomato sauce – just some ideas, that you can mix and match and add other things too.
Leave your chicken strips in the marinade overnight, turning occasionally so all the flavors absorb. When you are ready for your barbecue, take the bag out of the fridge and start pushing the strips onto a skewer folding it several times so you get a ‘scrunched’ effect. Once as much meat is on the stick as possible, cook until done over a medium-high BBQ, and serve with some homemade potato salad, grilled corn on the cob and a big crunchy veg salad.
Fish is one of the nicest things to grill on a BBQ. It’s very easy to do as well. You can either skewer a whole fish with skin still on, cover with olive oil and rub in salt and cook that way. But if it’s a slightly larger fish, or one with no skin on, then choose to cook it in foil parcels with a little lemon juice, olive oil, fresh chopped herbs and seasoning inside.
Remember that fish doesn’t take long to cook, so keep an eye on the time. Serve with a sweet mango or tomato salsa and a squeeze of lime.
Barbecued Summer Salad
Keep it simple this summer by cutting courgette into long strips and placing them onto your grill at home. Barbecue some asparagus at the same time, and perhaps some red onion quarters.
Lay out a plate of green leafy vegetables (spinach, chard, pak choi, kale) and finely slice a little radish on top. Cover with the grilled asparagus and zucchini and grate over some Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil. Enjoy with a chunk of homemade sourdough.
This may sound a little strange to those of you who have not tried it before, but it’s absolutely delicious! Simply take out those skewers again and load them up with pieces of strawberry, pineapple, nectarine, peach, banana, apples, figs. Or whatever you fancy trying.
It might be worth drizzling the fruit in lemon juice to prevent too much discoloration, and even sprinkling with some sugar to help the fruits flavours really shine.
Serve with mascarpone, a sprinkle of cinnamon or some whipped cream (made at home is far better than canned!)