We were really excited this weekend because we have been living in a house with a garden for over a year now and we are finally having a BBQ! Last year was very hectic and we didn’t invite people over for the first few months over summer because we had lots of belongings in boxes and the house wasn’t how we’d like it when we have guests (other than family). However we love socializing and hosting parties so it’s great that we have finally got into the swing of it!
My mum left behind a small barrel BBQ which we used to cook all of the food and I also made some cold items which we put out in the kitchen to all help ourselves. For everyone else there was marinated lamb, sausages and burgers which were bought last weekend (left over from our bank holiday bbq) from a local butcher in Tamworth.
I also made my favourite Beetroot, Feta and Chickpea burgers. It was interesting following the recipe again as it has been so long since I made them that I really had to follow my own instructions, it was a good test to see how other people would find it. They turned out good so I was pleased, although I used a different curry paste this time and it was much stronger so I think a milder curry paste is always better with these.
Instead of a green salad I decided to make a fruity giant cous cous salad. I decided to try giant cous cous because I had never cooked it before and it would look more interesting. Giant Cous Cous differs from the normal variety because you actually have to boil it in water or stock for 6-8 minutes then drain it before serving. I then ran cold water through the cous cous to cool it down ready to be made into a salad but you can also serve it hot.
Cous cous salads in general are extremely easy and a great addition to a dinner party or a buffet, I usually roast some vegetables such as courgettes, peppers and red onion then dice them up and stir into the cooked cous cous with some lemon zest and oil. However this time I wanted to make it more summery so I decided to add some fruit, similar to our holiday rice salad we have in Spain. You can add any firm fruit such as peaches or nectarines and you could even add chopped dried apricots or raisins.
Serving this style of salad also means you can use up ingredients which you’ve made other recipes from, for example I had some feta cheese, red onion and chickpeas left over from the beetroot burgers so I added that to the salad. Here is a rough guide to the quantities I used for my salad:
150g Cous Cous (around 1 cup or half a pack of Merchant Gourmet Giant Cous Cous)
1 Peach or nectarine
1/2 Red Onion
1/4 Block Feta Cheese
1/2 cup Chickpeas (handful)
Small handful Sunflower Seeds (or pine nuts)
Small bunch Coriander
Drizzle Good Quality Olive Oil
Place the cous cous in a saucepan and pour over enough stock to cover the grains, bring to the boil and then simmer for 6-8 minutes untill soft. Drain and run through cold water to allow it to cool down. Pour it into a large serving bowl.
Chop the peach, cucumber, red onion and feta cheese and mix in with the cous cous. Add the chickpeas, sunflower seeds and coriander and stir. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and serve.
To go with the salad and burgers I decided to make some sun dried tomato humous and serve it in buns with strips of courgette and red pepper which had been cooked on the bbq. This was delicious and I loved mixing the humous with the bbq vegetables.
I’d never actually made hummus before but my mum makes it a lot and home made always tastes SO much nicer than the shop bought varieties. I didn’t have any tahini but I did have loads of sesame seeds left over from my tofu salad recipe so I toasted them, then blended them with a little oil. I then blended chickpeas with garlic, lemon zest, oil from the jar of tomatoes and of course some chopped up sun-dried tomatoes.
I’m not going to share this recipe quite yet mainly because it definitely needs tweaking, I found it abit garlicky and I’d like to have another go with different quantities of the tomatoes! Watch this space!
What are your favourite vegetarian BBQ recipes?