Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BBQ favourites

We had a BBQ here on the weekend, just because the weather was looking very summery (though it rained in the afternoon) and the kids always love it. I guess any break from the usual routine is a bit exciting when you're little!

So I thought I'd show you a couple of my favourite, fail-safe dishes. What does a vegetarian eat at a BBQ? I've tried lentil burgers, vegie sausages etc, but the thing I really love, and that I have to fight the carnivores away from, are these halloumi skewers (sorry, pic is pre-cooked, I was too hungry and distracted to get the camera out once they were cooked :-) I admit I have been addicted to halloumi since it became available here in Australia. This unique salty, almost rubbery textured cheese from Cyprus holds it's shape when cooked, so can be fried, grilled or baked.

Just cut your block of halloumi into even sized chunks and thread onto bamboo skewers (pre-soaked so they don't burn). My favourite companions for the halloumi are squares of green capsicum (peppers), whole small mushrooms and chunks of red onion (sadly rationed in the above pic through lack of shopping planning). The flavours complement each other really well and are fresh and tasty, with that salty kick that I love from the halloumi.

The second dish, pesto rice salad, is a firm family favourite, one that all the family eat, even the small boy (now 14 months, can I still call him a baby?). It's one of those dishes where if there are any leftovers they gets gobbled up soon after. Very satisfying for a mum to cook for her brood! I know it doesn't look very exciting, but the rice/pesto/lemon/cheese combo is divine, trust me.

The recipe can be found here. It's by the popular British cook Delia Smith, and appears in the book Delia's Vegetarian Collection, amongst others of hers. I've always loved the way Delia writes because she goes into great detail and often explains why something in particular is needed or how it works. Which is helpful if you're like me and like to cut corners occasionally - then you know when you can cut them and when not to. Anyway... my point here is that I have used bottled pesto (instead of making it fresh for the recipe) and it still turned out great.

So if you have a vegetarian coming to your BBQ or just feel like something different, I'd urge you to try these recipes. Of course the Mr and littlies know to ask nicely before they tuck into my halloumi - they've already eaten their boring old sausages and chicken kebabs ;-)

Green salad with roasted beetroot, adding some earthiness and crunch


  1. I need to look up halloumi, as I've never heard of it, but enjoy trying new things! And thank you for the inspiration to cook beets.. I have a few that need to be fixed and I wasn't sure how to go about doing that. Yum!

  2. Hi Christie, sorry about not explaining halloumi, I think I assume my crazy food addictions are everyones :-) I've put in some info above.
    My favourite way to cook beetroot is to roast them, which gives a beautiful flavour & preserves all the lovely colour: cut the top and tail off each one, then wrap individually in foil and bake on moderate heat til tender (depends on size). Once cool the skins can be kind of rubbed off and your beautiful beets will be done.

  3. Ha! I was just going to ask for that rice recipe again.


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