National Barbecue Week in the UK runs from 4 to 10 July. The annual event has been running for more than a quarter of a century and celebrates its 26th birthday this year.
Teaming up with Birdseye’s plant-based Green Cuisine range and San Miguel (promoting their 0% alcohol offering) the week is about much more than a beer and a burger.
Each day in the run-up to the event, new mouth-watering recipes are launched on the site, with veggie, vegan, and meat-based treats to tantalise the taste buds of barbecue lovers everywhere.
Here are some of the recipes to appear so far (with a twist), plus a couple of our own, sure to get you in the barbecue spirit.
1. Miso and sesame aubergines
Vegetables work great on the barbecue, with a light charring adding that authentic grilled taste.
This recipe mixes miso paste, honey, mustard, ginger, garlic, soy, vinegar, and sesame seeds to give the humble aubergine an Asian twist with a mustard tang.
For an added flourish, why not top the dish with spring onions, chillies, and a nutty crunch?
This vegan dish works perfectly as a starter, side, or main dish.
2. Coriander and ginger lamb
While you won’t always be able to guarantee the weather during the Great British summer, you can guarantee the quality of the food you serve with top-notch preparation.
The perfect marinade can complement any meat, and this coriander and ginger mix is perfect for lamb chops.
Mix ginger, papaya, oil, and coriander and then coat your lamb chops, at least four hours before you light the barbie.
Cook for a couple of minutes on each side, leave to rest for seven or eight minutes and finish with a squeeze of lemon. This dish is perfect on its own or served with couscous.
3. Chilli and garlic beef burger
While the list of foodstuffs you can cook on the ever-adaptable barbecue is nearly endless, sometimes the old ideas are the best. And that’s where the barbecued burger in a bun comes in!
With 500g of steak mince, you should be able to make four decent-sized burgers. Simply mix in onion, chilli, garlic, salt, and peppercorns and form them into the classic burger patty.
Sear on both sides at a high temperature then turn down the heat and cook at your leisure.
Serve in the classic sesame seed bun. Add pancetta, avocado, and blue cheese for a modern twist, or stick with lettuce and burger sauce.
4. Chermoula sardines
Chermoula is a cumin-based marinade or sauce, popular in northwest Africa, particularly Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. It generally contains garlic, coriander, oil, and lemon juice. Great British Chefs’ recipe also includes parsley and paprika.
Once made, your chermoula sauce will keep for up to three days in the fridge, in an airtight container.
Oil and season the sardines, place them on a skewer and then cook for two to three minutes, ensuring they are cooked through and nicely charred.
5. Teriyaki tofu
This vegan take on teriyaki uses a soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and mirin mix that you’ll want to leave to soak into your tofu. Consider extracting the moisture from the tofu first by placing it in a bowl with a plate or board on top for an hour or two.
Once the marinade has been brushed on, leave the tofu to chill for an hour before barbecuing on both sides for five minutes.
Consider serving the tofu on a bed of grilled courgette and broccoli (lightly oiled and allowed to char) and add sesame seeds or peanuts for texture before serving.
6. Grilled Cauliflower Steaks
Cauliflower is another often overlooked vegetable that works perfectly on the barbecue. Create thick “steaks” and then grill them until they’re nicely charred.
They are a great carrier of extra flavour so why not cover them in a Thai-inspired sauce?
Mix coriander, shallots, garlic, brown sugar, fish sauce, chilli, and lime juice together then pour onto your cauliflower steaks to serve. Experiment with the levels of chilly, lime, and brown sugar until you hit upon just the right mix of sweet and spicy for you.
7. Chilli and pineapple ribs
Another showstopper where a methodical approach to preparation pays dividends, these sticky spare ribs are perfect for your summer barbecue.
You’ll need to lightly simmer the ribs in salted water for 30 minutes – plenty of time to make the sticky barbecue glaze.
Begin with garlic, ginger, onion, and chillies, with chopped pineapple, pineapple juice, tomato puree and honey on stand-by. Simply pan-fry the first set of ingredients in some oil until they are soft, then add the second set and boil it all up until your sauce becomes thick.
Once your glaze has cooled, you’ll be ready to brush it onto your ribs just before you place them on the flame. Cook until the sauce becomes crusty and serve them unadorned. They will speak for themselves and are sure to be a hit!