Are you a vegetarian and tired of being confined to the salad buffet every time you get invited to a barbecue? Or maybe you’re a meat-loving barbecue fan, but you’re nervous about inviting your veggie friends to your grill party out of fear they’ll starve? Despair no longer: here are twelve tips to help you organise the perfect veggie barbecue.
1. Fabulous Veggie Burgers
Veggie burgers done right are satisfying and versatile. You can easily improvise them with a base of any type of beans, some fresh herbs and spices, and a binder like flour, rice or quinoa. Check out this recipe for inspiration.
A few tips to avoid crumbled, ashy burgers or blackened hockey pucks:
- Chill your patties for a few hours before grilling so they firm up.
- Cook your burgers on a tray rather than straight on the grill (if you’re after nice char marks, you can put your burgers straight on the grill for a few minutes once they’re nearly cooked through and firm).
- Cook your burgers over indirect heat, rather than straight over the flames, to avoid burning.
2. Mushrooms for the win
If you are looking for a new and incredibly exciting veggie burger option, try this Mushroom Burger, new to SORTEDfood today! The great thing about mushrooms is they have incredible flavour. You’ll be hard pushed to stop the carnivores from getting involved!
3. Parcelling like a pro
Tin foil parcels are a great, laid-back way to cook all your favourite vegetables together. Just choose and prep your veg wisely: slice harder vegetables in smaller chunks, so everything cooks evenly. Don’t forget to throw together a quick marinade with some oil and herbs – ideally, prep your parcels a few hours before you get grilling, so all the flavours can meld together nicely, plus it’ll save you time when your guests arrive.
4. Stuff ‘em all
Take your veg to the next level with delicious fillings. Cheese works great as a stuffing and/or topping: mushrooms filled with herby cream cheese and pine nuts are a classic. If you want to keep it vegan, get inspired by these stuffed bell peppers. Other vegetables you can easily stuff include courgettes, aubergines and tomatoes.
5. Cheesy goodness
If you do love cheese, why not make it the main event? Halloumi is perfect on the barbeque, as it’s firm and browns nicely. Put it on skewers with your favourite veg, or simply slice and grill; just make sure to pair it with a nice tangy salad to cut through the saltiness. You could also grill a whole brie or camembert wrapped in tin foil and serve as a starter with crudités and bread. Or consider adding feta to your veg parcels or stuffings.
6. Killer baked potatoes
Potatoes wrapped in foil are a bbq staple. Take them to the next level with a garlic and herb butter, or by adding sliced onions and cheese to the parcel. Or if you’re really out to impress, have a go at these fantastic Jerk Sweet Potatoes to bring a little extra spice to proceedings.
7. Liven up your side salads
No more boring salad buffets! Seriously, don’t be lazy and settle for sliced cucumber and sad lettuce. Try beans or lentils as your salad base, get some interesting grains like couscous or quinoa involved, and try this beautiful lighter potato salad with asparagus.
8. Get your bread on
Bread is great to bulk up a meal, to carry delicious salads to your mouth, or to soak up lovely grilled veg juices. Make simple garlic bread with pre-bought baguette, or impress your mates by whipping up your own flatbreads or even mini-pizzas. They will work a treat on a grill; just don’t get them too close to the flame.
9. Switch up your veg
Grilled aubergines and courgettes are classics, but why not try grilling some more unusual veg like cauliflower, cabbage, or artichokes? Any of these would be amazing with this SORTED romesco sauce. Did you know you can even grill avocado? This will bring out a lovely nutty flavour; drizzle with lime and salt and devour.
10. Play with protein
Tempeh and seitan are excellent barbeque options because they’re quite flavourful, especially if you get a smoked or spiced version. You can also marinate your own protein of choice and simply grill it in slices, put it on a skewer or add to a tin foil parcel. Try tofu skewers with different marinades and spices for something a bit more exotic.
11. Delicious dips
Homemade sauces, drizzles and dips will take your grill party to a whole new level, and they needn’t be time-consuming. Whip up a garlic dip, go fiery with your very own chilli sauce, or get your grill going early and make a deliciously smoky baba ganoush.
12. Don’t forget the fruit
Barbecue-grilled fruits are delicious for pudding, but they can also work in savoury dishes. Try grilling halved peaches with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of black pepper. For a kicker of a dessert, halve bananas lengthways and grill them in tin foil with some grated ginger and orange zest. Once nicely caramelised, pour over a bit of dark rum and set on fire. Great if you’ve always wanted to try flambéing but were too scared to set your kitchen alight!
Friend of SORTED Maya is all about exploring and writing about the exciting world of food. Follow her on Twitter here to follow her foodie adventures!
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