With the Silly Season’s excesses now in the rear view mirror, you’re probably feeling ready to cut the indulgence and keep things a little simpler on the dinner front for a few weeks.
Barbecuing is synonymous with summer. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love the smoky, sweet, spicy flavours of meat and vegetables cooked on an open grill? And, you don’t have to load up with rich sauces and creamy sides to enjoy food cooked alfresco. If you want to enjoy the grill without the fill this summer, check out these tips and recipes from our mates at Gasmate.
Just another Meat Free Monday
Barbecue isn’t just for the carnivores among us. Enjoy Meat Free Monday grill style, with this Antipasto Salad recipe.
Large zucchinis, sliced diagonally
4 baby eggplants, sliced diagonally
2 red capsicum, cored and cut into large pieces
2 yellow capsicum, cored and cut into large pieces
Trussed cherry tomatoes
1 small sweet potato, sliced 2cm thick
100g rocket leaves
100g semi dried tomatoes
½ cup chopped coriander
1 tbsp red chili, deseeded and finely sliced
Red wine vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. Turn on the BBQ grill to hot.
2. Toss prepared zucchinis, eggplants, capsicums and sweet potato in a little olive oil in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
3. Get the BBQ hot. Start grilling the vegetables, turning over when you have nice grill marks. Return cooked vegetables to the bowl.
4. Grill the cherry tomatoes separately and set aside as they are more delicate and will fall off trusses if tossed.
5. Add rocket, semi dried tomatoes, capers, coriander and chili to the bowl with a splash of red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and toss.
6. Check seasoning and plate up.
7. Add grilled cherry tomatoes as garnish
For a meat-free side without the creamy dressing, veggie skewers are always a winner. Thread a medley of mushrooms, and chunks of red, capsicum, zucchini, and leek, onto skewers, lightly brush with olive oil. Pop them on a medium heat on the barbecue and grill until lightly charred.
Tip: Capsicum cook more slowly than the other ingredients so pre-cook lightly olive-oiled strips in the oven, low and slow, allow them to cool, then pop them on your skewers so they don’t taste raw alongside your other vegetables.
Fishing for compliments
Lazy days on the water catching your own supper may be over for another year but this zingy, zesty Grilled Calamari Salad will bring those salty, sun-soaked memories flooding back.
1⁄2 iceberg lettuce, coarsely shredded
1⁄4 red cabbage, finely shredded
1 large Lebanese cucumber, cut length ways and sliced
100g snow peas, blanched and refreshed
800g calamari tubes
2 French shallots, finely diced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1⁄2 tbsp chopped chili
1⁄2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chopped lemongrass
2 lemons, quartered
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. In a large mixing bowl combine the lettuce, cabbage, cucumber and snow peas. Refrigerate.
2. Prepare the calamari by cutting through the length of the tube and lay out with the inner surface of the tube, face up.
3. Score with a knife without cutting through to the other side in a close diagonal direction, one way and then the opposite, to make a diamond pattern.
4. Pat dry with kitchen paper then slice into 5cm strips.
5. Toss the calamari strips in some oil.
6. Get the BBQ hotplate very hot, then sear calamari on the hotplate, scored-side down, for 1 - 2 minutes or until it is nicely charred marks. Then turn the calamari strips over until curled, then immediately transfer to a bowl.
7. Once all the calamari is cooked, set a wok or large frying pan on high heat.
8. Add 4 tablespoon of the oil to the pan, and fry the shallots and ginger for 1 minute before adding the chill, garlic and lemongrass and frying for another minute. Don’t allow to burn.
9. Return the calamari to the pan and toss continuously for 1 minute.
10. Pour calamari over the salad and serve immediately with lemon wedges.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie…Oi, Oi, Oi!
If you’re looking to beef up your barbie without loading on the calories this Australia Day look no further than this Seared Beef Tenderloin with Rocket and Parmesan Salad. It’s tasty, light, and the perfect antidote to a holiday season spent slaving over festive feast preparations.
Ingredients:600g whole beef tenderloin, uncut.
1. Combine thyme leaves with salt and pepper.
2. Rub a little olive oil on the beef and roll in the thyme seasoning.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, honey and a splash of extra virgin olive oil with a squeeze of lemon. Season to taste.
4. Get the BBQ hot. Sear the beef on all sides until well browned on the flat hotplate side of the BBQ.
5. Set aside on some kitchen paper and allow to cool.
6. Arrange rocket leaves and onions on a large plate.
7. Using a sharp knife, slice the beef thinly, and arrange slices on top of the rocket leaves and onion.
8. Scatter the shaved parmesan and capers over the sliced beef and drizzle with the honey Dijon dressing.
9. Serve with extra lemon wedges and crusty bread or croutons.
There’s definitely something about cooking and eating outdoors that lifts the spirit and helps extend those summer holiday vibes beyond the holidays. With these tips you can enjoy light, succulent, summer meals so delicious you won’t even notice they’re good for you!