By Nicole Wilson
With a month to go until daylight savings ends, summer lingers on. One thing I love about summer is the BBQ; being able to cook dinner outside is particularly attractive on a hot evening.
In our house, because I am not much of a meat eater, vegetables get a great showing – even on the BBQ where meat is usually the hero.
We are always hearing that we need to eat more veg and that is so true. They are full of so many important nutrients. And what better way to cook them than on the BBQ? I mean, everything tastes better when it’s barbequed! Another big plus is that there aren’t too many dishes to wash up afterwards.
Summer is also the time of the year when great BBQ-friendly vegetables are available. My favourites are corn, courgettes, onions, potatoes and tomatoes.
There is no recipe for this, you just need to prepare the vegetables and the BBQ properly and then get cooking.
If you are cooking over gas you want it set low to medium heat. Cooking over wood or charcoal takes a little more effort as you need to make sure you have some nice embers giving a gentle heat.
To prepare the vegetables, cut them into desired chunks or slices, toss in a little cooking oil, salt and pepper. Maybe add some herbs; thyme or rosemary go well as they would complement most meats you may be serving with the vegetables. Keep a close eye on them as they cook and turn them regularly.
• Corn: to husk or not to husk? I like to remove the husks as the corn will cook faster; cook for about 5 minutes.
• Courgettes (or marrows if they have got away from you in the garden): for small courgettes cut them in half lengthwise; for larger (or marrows) cut into 2-3cm thick slices; cook for 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness.
• Onions: cut in half or quarters lengthwise; leave the skin on; cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on size.
• Potatoes: slice into 1cm thick slices; best cooked on a hot plate rather than the grill; cook 10-15 minutes.
• Tomatoes: cut in half, brush cooking oil onto the cut surface; best cooked on a hot plate rather than the grill; cook 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the tomato. Season with salt and pepper and fresh basil.
Add you favourite meat to the BBQ at the appropriate time so that everything is all cooked together. Then dish up dinner straight from the BBQ. Simple and relaxed summer cooking.