Summer is fast approaching as we only have a few days of sunshine in England, this means BBQ come and go in a blink of an eye so I like to have everything ready for when the sun does decide to come out. As a child, I spent a lot of my Summer holidays in Greece and one of the fondest food memories I have is a big salad being placed in the middle of the table. A simple salad of tomatoes and cucumber with lettuce was perfectly refreshing to compliment to hot elements of the dish. You can, of course, add whatever you like, I do like to add some green pepper and a little red onion makes a great addition. For me, the salad should always be the biggest dish on the table, it is the one that should be passed around from person to person, it doesn’t cost much to throw one together and it doesn’t take long either!
Along with the salad, you are obviously going to want some burgers and sausages on the barbecue too, unless you are a whole food vegan, in which case, please skip to the paragraph below. If you have read my previous blog then you will know that the No Bull burger is my favourite for this Summer and they can be cooked straight from the freezer on the barbecue too which makes them perfect! When it comes to sausages Tofurky’s Kielbasa sausages are the best for me, they only need a few moments on the barbecue to heat them all the way through and they work well as hot dogs or sausages by themselves, either way, they are my favourite so far and they cook so well on the barbecue.
Back to the wholefood section! Sweetcorn on the cob is designed for barbecues and all you need to do is plonk them on the barbecue and keep turning them frequently if you cook them in a line you can feed the masses without too much agro!
Black beans are a staple in my house and so I had to find a way to include them in a barbecue meal, I like to cook them in some barbecue/jerk sauce, to make them nice and saucy and serve them in a big bowl so that everyone can get stuck in!
Plantain is a great addition to any Summer dish, peeled and sliced into slices, I like to sprinkle some all purpose seasoning on it, fry on both sides for a brief amount of time and then place them in the oven for 10 minutes or so to cook through. The work really well with wedges whether you want to go the sweet potato or usual potato route.
Talking of potatoes, there are many ways you can cook potatoes (obviously), I think jacket potatoes are the best because you can cook one per person, which makes it very easy to work out portions, they are cheap and they are so easy to cook. I prick them and put them in batches of 4 in the microwave for 15 minutes, I then carefully remove them from the microwave and slit a cross in the top, drizzle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place in a preheated oven at 180 for 30 minutes or so until golden. They will be light and fluffy in the middle and crispy on the outside, perfect every time!
I will be blogging a lot more barbecue ideas but those are basics to get you started, I will be sharing my potato salad and coleslaw recipes very soon, so check back regularly and as always follow me on Instagram to keep up to date with my barbecue posts!