There is still time to squeeze in a barbecue or two before summer is over (hopefully!) Instead of buying hunks of meat, take advantage of the abundance of seasonal vegetables. Barbecued veg tastes great — smoky, delicious, with lots of colour, texture and flavour. Aubergine, butternut squash, fennel, courgette, and Swiss chard are all in season and grill beautifully.
Vegetables soak up marinades and sauces, making your meal even more flavourful. I like to make up dressings according to taste and mood: butternut squash is delicious with Mexican style chipotle hot sauce, courgette and fennel go well with citrus, aubergine is great with balsamic.
You can serve up the veggies with a big bowl of rocket or cabbage slaw (both in season) and fresh bread. If you want more protein, grill some halloumi or firm tofu too.
If you’re like me, and always looking for simple ways to have healthy food on the go, grill up a bunch of extra vegetables. Use the leftovers in salads, rice bowls, or as filling for wraps.
What’s your favourite grilled veggie combo or dressing? Share in the comments!
- Cook on charcoal or wood if you can as it will impart that smoky flavour that gas barbecues won’t.
- Use lumpwood charcoal. It’s more expensive but will hold heat longer so you will use less. Avoid firelighters if you can.
- Wait for the right moment to cook. This may sound basic but wait for the flames to properly die down. You want the coals white hot, grey and glowing which give the most even heat.
- Control the heat just as you would if you were using a gas hob. If things are too hot then take your food off and let the coals cool down.
- If you are cooking more than one thing it might be useful to have two temperatures on your barbecue. To do this, once the coals are hot pile most of them to one side which will be hot for grilling, and a few on the other side for warming bread and gentler cooking.