Try one of our three themed barbecue menus for a novel party idea this summer – choose from Mediterranean sunshine food, spicy Indian goodies and an all-American feast. Plus, we’ve got a couple of tempting sweet barbecued goodies to end your meal.
It’s time to sharpen your skewers, dust off those grids and get the fire smoking. Whether it’s the height of British summer or even if there’s just the slightest hint of sunshine peeking through the clouds, the smell of sizzling bangers is sure to be in the air.
To help your summer parties go with a sparkle, we’re offering three global-inspired barbecue menus. Tuck into our all-American feast, turn up the heat with a summery Mediterranean menu or spice things right with our Indian selection.
These summery dishes embrace bold Mediterranean flavours, transporting you to a sun-kissed Italian coast, even if rain does threaten play. Mediterranean food makes a great theme for a vegetarian barbecue. For a classic veggie dish, skewer chunks of aubergine, courgettes, portobello mushrooms and peppers between cubes of lemon-marinated haloumi cheese. Brush with olive oil before barbecuing, and then scatter with fresh garden herbs. Use sprigs of rosemary as skewers to infuse even more flavour into the dish.
Mediterranean al fresco cooking is all about quick and fuss-free flavours – super-fresh fish slathered in extra virgin olive oil or butter and drenched in lemon juice, lovingly gift-wrapped in foil; zingy meat marinades with minimum effort, and a feast of salads, packed with peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, broad beans and other summer vegetables.
- Barbecued balsamic beef by Good Food Magazine.
- Chicken and prosciutto skewers by Emma Crowhurst.
- Fennel and herb barbecued whole fish by Jo’ Pratt.
- Melting mushrooms by Celia Brooks Brown.
- Fire-roasted Mediterranean vegetables by Ainsley Harriott.
- Grilled aubergine salad by Sam and Sam Clark.
- Courgette salad with pine nuts, chillies and parmesan by James Martin.
- Broad bean and flamed pepper salad by The Vegetarian Society.
- Mediterranean couscous salad by Good Food Magazine.
- Salade Nicoise by Antony Worrall Thompson.
An Indian summer
Turn up the heat with a spicy Indian-themed barbecue. Try to buy spices from a specialist Asian store rather than a supermarket – supermarket spices are often pre-toasted, removing much of their heady flavour. Before using, toast them in a dry frying pan until a deep and nutty aroma is released.
Stir a couple of tablespoons of curry paste into natural yoghurt for a flavoursome marinade for meat, being generous with an assortment of spices. Experiment with pinches of turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin seeds, black and yellow mustard seeds, and different types of cardamom and garam masala on your favourite cuts of meat or kebabs.
Toss toasted black mustard seeds, flecks of chilli and chopped fresh coriander into a leafy salad, and dress with lime juice and groundnut oil. Serve spicy meat kebabs and skewered veggies with seed-speckled salads, Indian-spiced potatoes and an assortment of chutneys and pickles.
- Lamb kebabs by Manju Malhi.
- Yoghurt-spiced chicken skewers by Paul Merrett.
- Indian spiced swordfish steaks by Ainsley Harriott.
- Spicy kofta burgers by Angela Boggiano.
- Indian-style potatoes by Phil Vickery.
- Cucumber and mint raita by Jo’ Pratt.
- Mango chutney by Good Food Magazine.
All-American BBQ recipes
Few countries take their barbecues as seriously as the US, where hulking great steaks, finger-licking sticky ribs and chunky burgers jostle for space on the barbie. It’s where the nitty gritty definitions of the difference between grilling and barbecuing spark furious debate among barbecue aficionados (by the way, grilling uses direct heat, while barbecuing uses indirect heat).
Even if you’re not planning on getting in some training for one of the many famed barbecue contests held in the southern American states, this selection of recipes will get you en-route to an all-American feast. We’re talking ‘surf and turf’ steak and prawn skewers, meaty burgers and sweet and spicy ribs, served with classic American salads.
- Surf and turf barbecue skewers by Ainsley Harriott.
- Gourmet burgers by Angela Boggiano.
- Hot hounds with beer-and-mustard-barbied onions by Jo’ Pratt.
- Barbecue spare ribs by Jenny White.
- BBQ sauce by James Martin.
- Waldorf salad with celeriac by Patrick Williams.
- Caesar salad by James Martin.
Finish off your event on a sweet note with one of these recipes for sweet warm barbecued fruit. Bananas are hardy enough to withstand the heat of the barbecue: try this recipe below, which blisters them to smithereens before swirling a creamy, spicy sauce over.
Firm-fleshed fruits give a really good result – try soaking chunks of pineapples, pears, mango, bananas and strawberries in sugary water mixed with a splash of your favourite fruit liqueur, skewer to make a mixed fruit kebab and cook until the fruit caramelises. Honey-drizzled figs also make a worthy addition to a barbecue menu.
- Fairtrade chargrilled bananas with toffee sauce by Antony Worrall Thompson.
- Honey nut baked fresh figs by Ainsley Harriott