Top ideas for 2014's last summertime barbecues
It's not very often we say this, but barbecues aren't just for meat! Grilling or slow cooking veggies over hot coals gives them a beautiful, smoky flavour.
Corn on the Cob
The most popular vegetable for the barbecue is corn on the cob. Just pop them on the grill and rotate gently every few minutes. The barbecue sweetens the kernels nicely. Serve hot with salty butter.
Asparagus literally takes seconds to cook. As soon as the meat is cooked roll out a couple of bunches of asparagus on top of the grill. Keep an eye on them, roll them around every 20 seconds or so. They should be done in under three minutes. Pop them into a dish, sprinkle with salt and a knob of butter.
Pop a couple of whole peppers on the side of the grill while you barbecue away. Turn them slowly. Peppers take a bit longer and are juicy and delicious sliced up over the salad or eaten as they are. No seasoning needed.
Grab a potato per guest. Pop the potatoes into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt. Get your hands oily and give the bowl a good stir. Make sure all the potatoes get a nice coating with the oily salt. Individually wrap each potato with foil and toss directly onto the hot coals just before you put the barbecue grid on. After 20 minutes turn the potatoes once. Leave for another 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the potato and the heat of the fire. Poke a skewer through one of the potatoes; if it slides through easily they are done. Keep them wrapped in a bowl until serving. It's easier if the guests do the unwrapping.
• Foil-wrapped onions, peeled but left whole - cook for 20 minutes on hot coals
• Sliced sweet potato with honey in foil packets
• Mixed vegetable kebabs on a stick - I like to use softer vegetables, like courgette, peppers, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes; brush with oil beforehand, then baste with butter halfway through cooking
• Big wedges of grilled pineapple on the barbecue goes down really well, especially with chicken and barbecue sauce.