Switch your sizzling sausages for marinated seitan this summer and plan a barbecue with a difference. Here’s 8 things you didn’t know you could BBQ:
Whole cheeses like Camembert and Brie are brilliant baked on the barby. Wrap your room temperature cheese in foil and place it on the griddle until it become gooey in the middle. Dip in anything from crackers and hunks of bread to garlic toasts and crudites.
Seitan and tofu
Seitan is the perfect vegan-friendly protein to barbecue because it absorbs flavours and has a texture that mimics the mouth feel of chicken. Marinade your seitan in anything from peri peri salt, barbecue sauce and honey-mustard to garlicky-soy or spicy fajita seasoning before griddling over the smoky coals. Do the same with skewers of firm tofu to make veggie-friendly lollipops.
Who needs a fancy wood-fired oven when you’ve got a hot barbecue to create the smokiest pizza pie ever? Prep your pizza as normal and place it directly onto the grill to cook the base. Put the lid on for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese and add fresh herbs before serving.
Barbecued cauliflower steaks are a dream. Slather on a spice rub and cook on medium heat so the middle cooks through and the exterior is beautifully charred – brush over some oil first to help it colour.
Avocados and tomatoes
Half your avocados, remove the pits and place them cut side down on the BBQ to imbue them with a deeply roasted aroma and flavour. Mash them into guacamole, chop them into messy chunks before tossing into your summer salad, use as a burger topping or blend them into a creamy salad dressing with spring onions, seasonings and olive oil. Blister some whole tomatoes and a bulb of garlic at the same time to use in a complementary smoky salsa.
Barbecued watermelon has an unusual but scrumptious charcoal flavour. The natural sugar on the surface of the fruit caramelises, lending it a concentrated sweetness that has smoky quality to it. The heat from the coals transforms its texture too, making it firmer and chewier. Sprinkle your watermelon wedges with salt to enhance their sweetness or spritz over some lime juice for a fresher finish. You can do the same with mangoes, pineapples and peaches too!
Revitalise sliced stale bread by drizzling over some olive oil and searing on the griddle (smear over a cut clove of garlic for quick garlicky toasts or chop up and use as charred croutons for your salads). Or slice your day-old baguette horizontally and smother the cut sides in garlic butter before sandwiching them back together, wrapping in foil and baking on the BBQ.
Pudding? Throw leftover stale doughnuts on the barbie to bring them back to life. Serve with scoops of ice cream, a drizzle of caramel from a can and barbecued stone fruit, like nectarines and peaches.