The Vegetarian Barbecue
The sun finally put in a very belated appearance at the weekend we saw people in shorts and vests, beers were cracked open, fresh lemonade was made and we celebrated the start of the British Barbecue Season!
The vegetarian barbecue causes consternation amongst dyed in the wool meat eaters but I’ve noticed how quickly they wolf down ‘the vegetarian option’ when it’s there! While commercially produced veggie burgers and sausages may seem the simple solution it really isn’t hard to put together a veggie barbecue feast. Here are three of my favourites:
1. Haloumi Burgers with Sweet Chilli Sauce/Pesto Drizzle
Haloumi cries out to be barbecued. Slice it into thick wedges, brush with a little olive oil and pop it on the grill until browned. Serve it immediately in a warmed bap while it is still hot and crisp on the outside. A dash of sweet chilli sauce, some crisp lettuce leaves and maybe a little grated beetroot – delicious! Or serve it as I have here, freshly barbecued with fat slices of mushroom and pepper drizzled with equal parts red pesto, olive oil and balsamic vinegar whisked together.
2. Basil Tofu Kebabs
Thread basil Taifun Tofu chopped into chunks, button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, mini onions and chunks of red pepper onto barbecue skewers, brush with a little olive oil and sizzle on the barbie until browned.
Make a sauce by whisking together 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsps tamari wheat free soy sauce (it tastes better and is gluten-free), 2 tbsps olive oil, 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed and 1tsp English mustard powder. Drizzle over the kebabs before serving.
These are delicious served on a bed of rice which can be made in advance and served cold. To pep it up a bit fry a sliced onion an oven proof casserole dish until browning. Add 1 cup basmati rice, a ½ inch piece of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped and 2 cloves of chopped garlic and fry gently for a minute or so, pour in 1½ cups water and boil it off fairly rapidly until just a teeny bit remains (should take about 5 minutes), stirring gently to stop it sticking. Cover the pan and pop it in the oven for 18 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot or cold. I stir through a handful of roasted pistachios/almonds/cashews depending on my mood! (serves 4)
3. Grilled Veg
Simple but delicious a selection of vegetables, brushed with olive oil (or with the sauce described above in the tofu recipe) and grilled is hard to beat. Peppers, courgettes, large slices of field mushroom, halved beef tomatoes, corn on the cob, thick slices of red onion all barbecue well and the caramelisation from hot, swift cooking gives a fabulous depth of flavour. Serve on a spicy cous cous, pistachio rice (see above) or with chunks of haloumi – bring on Summer!
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