This week is National BBQ Week….. and it starts with a good old UK bank holiday on 30th May (running to 5th June). Yay!
The weather forecast is not great, but who cares? We Brits are always up for a barbie (aren’t we?), and shine (or rain) we can stoically don and apron, grab the coals and head for the garden.
I’m celebrating National BBQ Week with FourWalls, a brand new, exciting project that has been launched by Ocean Loans to celebrate all things home-related. Go check out their site which is a growing bank of inspirational ideas and advice for home projects, revamps and decoration…… handy since we are about to embark on (yet another) extension!
BBQ’s are a great opportunity to extend our homes into the openness of the garden and enjoy all that the summer has to offer us. With the availability of some amazing, easily transportable BBQ’s that you can now find, you can also extend your recreational space even further, to incorporate great social food with friends at the beach or on a picnic in the countryside.
We are the proud owners of no less than three BBQ’s at the GF house…… the monster gas version (convenient for large gatherings, but significantly missing out on the smoke and flavour of traditional charcoal models)……. A traditional charcoal version (which we use most frequently when garden-based)…….. and an amazing Cobb BBQ, which is totally portable and runs on special briquettes which are hot and ready to cook with in just 5 minutes……. perfect for when we go to the beach. If you’ve never seen a Cobb BBQ before, you seriously have to check out this piece of kit……. It’s brilliant!
One of the things that always makes me smile about BBQ’s is how the men take control! Beer and tongs in hand, they take ownership of the cooking as if they are the only ones who know how to cook a burger….. Mr GF even marinades the meat and can knock up a mean guacamole…… Amidst the smoke he seems in his element…… I don’t bother to offer much help with the actual cooking part….. oh no! BBQ’s have a distinct macho image for being ‘man’s cooking’!
That’s the ‘being seen’ stuff around the coals of course….. In the kitchen, I do my bit too…… prepping sides and salads, stuffing fish, and sorting veg.
The recipe I have shared with you here is one of my favourites. I have been making it for years and I have not met anyone yet who hasn’t given it the seal of approval. It is entirely gluten free, vegetarian, dairy free and delicious. If you marinade the veg well ahead of time, the flavours mingle and absorb to perfection with the veg. You can even stick it in an airtight container to transport to those countryside and beach-based barbies….
Because the veg is cut relatively small, you need a suitable BBQ-proof ‘container’ to cook it in. I have always used a BBQ-wok, which is covered in little holes…… perfect for allowing the smoke to infuse throughout the cooking-process. If you don’t have a BBQ wok (although it is definitely worth getting one), you can make a foil basket (make sure you use several layers of foil for strength), and pierce with a number of small holes to allow the smoke through.
This is a pretty healthy dish. You can use pretty much any veg you like although I have some firm favourites that work well on a BBQ…… peppers, mushrooms, aubergine, onion, baby corn, courgette….. For an added twist, I have spiralized some of the veg for this batch!
The marinade is simple but amazingly delicious. A combination of olive oil, balsamic &/or red wine vinegar, seasoning, garlic and plenty of herbs, it packs quite a flavour punch and brings the Mediterranean to your back yard.
I am sharing my Marinated BBQ’d Veg with the following linkies, in the hope that the recipe brings happiness to others too :
Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum
Sunday Fitness & Food – this week with Ilkas Blog (and Marathons & Motivation)
Free From Fridays with the Free From Farmhouse
Cooking with Herbs / Tea Time Treats – with Lavender & Lovage (and The Hedge Combers). June brings us a combined linky party of Herbs and/or Summer Berries. There are plenty of herbs thrown in with the veg to add to those summer flavours.
And when you have finished with all the savoury stuff……. don’t forget the sweet stuff….. Here Miss GF shows her S’Mores skills (with gluten free chocolate biscuits of course)….
And when it’s all over, the coals are going cold and the kids are ready for bed….. have another beer and chill……
Marinated BBQ’d Veg
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
plenty of freshly ground black pepper
6 large cloves garlic – crushed
handful fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon fresh chopped or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1½ tablespoons fresh chopped or 1½ teaspoons dried basil
- Prepare the vegetables – wash, trim and slice/chop/spiralize as appropriate to the type of veg, and place in a very large bowl/container.
- In a large jug, mix together all the marinade ingredients thoroughly and pour over the vegetables.
- Using your hands, mix and toss the veg in the marinade making sure it is well coated.
- Leave to marinate for a few hours (or overnight), mixing together occasionally to help the infusion process.
- When ready, cook the veg on the BBQ over very hot coals (you will probably need to do this in batches) using either a BBQ wok or a home-made foil basket (a few layers (for strength) of foil shaped into a container with several holes pierced through to allow the smoke to mingle). Stir and turn the veg intermittently to help the cooking process.
- The veg is done when it is soft and beginning to brown on the edges slightly.
- If making in batches, keep warm in the oven or serve straight away with all your other great BBQ’d goodies.
Gluten free AND Vegan (or thinking of heading that way?) – check out my post on Gluten Free Vegan – Surviving Veganuary and Beyond
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-16 unless otherwise indicated