A six-pack of veggie delights for the BBQ

Did you know you can cook peas on the barbecue? On’s resident food guru ANDREAS EGGMANN can show you how. Here he shares his ideas for a sausage-free summer sizzle-up.

Summer’s here and there is tons of awesome produce reappearing in our gardens and shelves. Gone are the days of solid sustenance; it’s time to dust off the barbeque and enjoy some long warm afternoons. To celebrate summer’s abundance and the cravings I have for veggies after a long winter, here are some awesome veggie dishes to chuck on the barbie.

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Asparagus. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and put on the grill. Let them cook and char a little. If you’ve got a flat top, use that. Once they’re cooked but still crispy, throw on a few hunks of goat’s cheese (flat top, otherwise, just add the cheese after you put them on a plate) and a little fresh lemon zest and juice. Serve with homegrown rocket or cress.

Peas. Who’d have thought of cooking peas on the barbie? Sounds like a dumb idea really. But, if you make a quick batter, (egg, milk, S&P, flour) add some peas, freshly chopped mint, squares of Haloumi (or any other cheese) and a touch of lemon zest, you can cook the awesomest pea fritters ever. Promise. You will need a bbq with a flat top for this; it won’t work on a grill. Done.

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Tomatoes. Take the beautiful red ones, full of flavour, and toss in olive oil, chilli flakes, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and fresh thyme. Get the barbie real hot, then chuck ‘em on in a blaze of choking smoke and chilli. Whip ‘em off as they char and split. Use these bad boys in a salad, as a salsa, or just smooshed up on some grilled bread.

 Mushrooms. Anyone can throw a couple mushrooms on a barbie. But try this next time. Rig up a smoker by getting a small disposable oven tray, putting some manuka chips in the bottom, a wire grill above that and another oven tray to act as a lid. Toss the mushrooms (flat are best) in a bit of olive oil and pepper. Lay them on the rack, add some thinly sliced garlic and fresh thyme and cover with the lid. Put the smoker on the bbq and leave it to do its thing for about 15 minutes. Leave to cool in the smoke for about five minutes, then season with flaky salt and another dash of olive oil. These are wicked in a burger with Swiss cheese and pickles.

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Aubergines. Don’t just cut them up and grill ‘em. That’s boring. Put a whole aubergine or two on the bbq – ideally right above your flame source – until they blacken and scorch. Leave them to cool for five minutes. Cut in half and scrape out the pulpy flesh. Mix this with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, S&P and parsley to make an awesome babaganoush. If you want to be really awesome, do the same with the garlic before you add it. Serve with toasted pita, as condiment, in a wrap or just with toasted bread.

Pineapple. Toss in a little sugar and chilli flakes and a pinch of salt. Trust me, I’m a chef. Grill until they are branded with sweet caramelized lines. Really good to eat with mango sorbet, but they probably won’t last long enough for you to get that out of the freezer.

 

 

 

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