Fire up the vegetarian BBQ
Veggies grilled or baked in foil parcels (“papillote”)
Barbecue-grilled crunchy vegetables bursting with flavour ̶ who could ask for more?
We are all familiar with the classics like potatoes, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms, but the possibilities continue as the season delivers its latest produce to the markets.
Summer is the perfect time to rediscover the vegetables that we cook less often, such as sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, eggplant and zucchini.
Grilled on skewers, baked in papillotes or roasted whole, barbecued veggies guarantee a flavoursome and vitamin-rich feast. Drizzle them with a little olive oil and you will also be protecting against heart disease.
Veggie burgers and sausages
There are countless recipes for tasty legume or cereal-based veggie burger patties. Seasoned with spices and herbs, the illusion of a 100% meat patty is practically perfect.
Grill them, pop them in a bun and you have the classic summer favourite.
The veggie sausage is a tasty alternative to meat sausages which can often have a high fat content. Better still, the meat-free versions contain more protein.
When selecting your meat alternative in the store, check the nutritional value because even products containing tofu or vegetable protein can often contain a great deal of salt.
Tofu, tempeh and seitan
Tofu is the best known meat substitute but two new products are starting to make an appearance: tempeh and seitan.
Tempeh is made from soybeans which are cooked, crushed and then fermented. The result tastes slightly of mushrooms, nuts and yeast.
After it has been boiled (10 minutes is enough) and marinated, tempeh goes crisp when cooked on the barbecue and will become the must-have ingredient for your burgers and salads.
Seitan, on the other hand, is made from wheat flour. It is similar to tofu in that it has only the subtlest of flavours and absorbs the flavour of the foods and seasonings it is prepared with.
You can either buy seitan in grocery stores and health food stores or make it yourself which allows you to add the flavours you want.
These 3 meat substitutes are perfect for cooking on the grill. All they need is a light brushing with olive oil, seasoning and then to be shown the flame for just a minute or two. Your venture into the world of vegetarian cooking is about to become addictive!
Pizza just like in Naples… or nearly
Unless you are lucky enough to have a wood-fired oven like the Neapolitans, cook your pizza on the barbecue, either directly on the grill or on a pizza stone which stores the heat and produces a crispier crust.
Load on all the great vegetables which are at their best and freshest during the summer months.
Sprinkle with fresh herbs from the garden and … buon appetito!
Cheese never fails to enhance a dish.
Opt for hard cheeses such as halloumi and paneer which do not melt when cooked on the grill and which will give your dishes a crunchy texture.
Cheese can be used in infinite ways: in burgers, salads, sautéd, in pasta dishes and curries, to name but a few ideas.
Barbecued fruit makes for the perfect dessert and brings the vegetarian meal to its natural conclusion.
Fruit cooked over a hot grill brings out the natural fruit sugars and deliciously caramelizes pineapple, plums or peaches. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for extra indulgence!
Some prefer barbecuing fruit “en papillote”. The fruit is less likely to fall apart in the cooking and means you can also add your favourite spices, honey or maple syrup.
The firm flesh of apples also makes them ideal for a crumble cooked on the BBQ. Just top with oat flakes, brown sugar, nuts, a knob of butter and ground cardamom.