I love a good BBQ and given the unpredictability of Scottish weather you really do have to grab the opportunity and make hay whilst the sun shines. You just don't know when it might make an appearance again. We have our gas BBQ located in a covered area at the back door so can use it even when the weather isn't great but it really comes into its own on a sunny day when al fresco eating is on the cards.
Two of my favourite BBQ sides are Blue Cheese Mushrooms and Parma Ham wrapped Asparagus. Both are super simple to do but taste amazingly good. Chestnut mushrooms work well but you can use whatever you fancy. Simply remove the stalk and stuff the cavity with a creamy blue cheese. I tend to go for Saint Agur. Two spears of Asparagus wrapped in a slice of parma ham is as easy as it gets but is a superb flavour combination. I like to cook these in a grill basket as it makes them much easier to handle and stops them slipping through the bars.
Fish and seafood work really well on the BBQ. Here I glazed a side of salmon with Sweet Soya Sauce and Brown Sugar and cooked it in a tinfoil parcel. The raw prawns were tossed in garlic oil, sweet paprika and Spicentice Peppery Rub. Again the grill basket works well or you could pop them on a skewer.
Following on from my Foray into Foraging I had bookmarked New Potatoes in Ramps and Lemon to make as a side dish. This is so simple but amazingly good. A week after making it, with high praise from guests, I met Fi Bird the author of The Foragers Kitchen at Taste of Grampian and was able to tell her how much we loved it.
My next dish was inspired by Nigel Slater who wrote in his Observer column about a sweet strawberry and cucumber fruit salad. I immediately thought of Pimm's and decided to have a go at a savoury version with a Pimm's Dressing. It turned out to be the perfect taste of summer.
PIMM'S SUMMER SALAD
Pimm's - 1Tbsp
Honey - 1 Tbsp
Olive Oil - Tbsp
White Wine Vinegar - 1 Tbsp
Salt & Pepper
The quantities for this are somewhat arbitrary. I used a whole cucumber and a couple of punnets of strawberries. The dressing was made by combining the Pimm's, Honey, Oil and Vinegar with salt, pepper and chopped mint. This was then mixed into the salad just before serving and a few more mint leaves sprinkled on top
You can't have a barbie without burgers and homemade are definitely best. With the help of boy I came up with a lean and fruity combination that was a big hit. Don't be put off by the inclusion of banana. I promise you it works really well.
TURKEY, BANANA & APRICOT BURGERS
500g Turkey Mince
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 banana finely chopped
80g dried apricots finely chopped
1Tsp Sweet Smoked Paprika
1 Clove Garlic
Salt & Pepper
Mix everything together until well combined. Divide into 8 and shape into burgers. I use my trusty burger maker from Lakeland. If you are shaping by hand it may be beneficial to add a beaten egg to the mix to help bind them together. Chilling them in the fridge before cooking will make them easier to handle. They should take around 10 minutes to cook on the BBQ.
Fingers crossed for lots more sunshine this summer and plenty of BBQ opportunities. Pimm's just doesn't taste so good in the snow.
This post is an entry for BritMums’ Summer Turkey Recipe Challenge #leanonturkey
Updating this post in July 2013 to add it to the Four Seasons Food Challenge. The theme for this month is Barbecue Dishes and Sides so this fits the bill perfectly.