BBQ season is upon us and as swathes of sausages and burgers make their way to the grill, the humble vegetable is often forgotten. Whether it’s for the veggie/vegan of the group or simply just a delicious side dish, overlooking the greens is a mistake.
Yondu (www.yondu.co.uk) is making the veggies the star of the show this BBQ season; from what to put on your skewers, to how to cook them, fun ideas for all the family and even a sweet treat.
Here are Yondu’s top tips for pimping your veggies this BBQ season.
- Consider Kebabs – any vegetable that can be cut into big chunks and skewered is a firm candidate to a kebab. Be creative and combine different colors, textures and flavors in each skewer. There’s just one golden rule: “Sturdies with sturdies and softies with softies”. You don’t want to bite a raw potato next to a totally dehydrated courgette.
- Mushrooms are vegetable meat – what does have a meaty texture, a meaty color and a meaty flavor… but it is not meat? Exactly! Mushrooms are one of the richest sources of umami flavour out there. Rub your portabella mushrooms with Yondu before grilling and turn them into an umami bomb!
- Cook at the right tempo– controlling timing of a barbeque has never been easy. Especially when it comes to having everyone together at the table on time. But at least we can make sure all our vegetables are cooked to perfection and served at the right temperature. Here you have some tips to get it right:
- Sturdy vegetables such as potatoes or onion – wrap them in aluminium foil and start cooking once you light the BBQ
- Big veggies like entire bell peppers, aubergines or artichokes – cook them on the edges of the grill, not directly over fire for about 30 minutes
- Sturdy vegetable skewers (carrots, turnip, cabbage, etc.) – start charring them on the direct fire and then place them on the edges of the grill and cook until done
- Softie skewers (courgette, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, etc) – cook them over direct fire for a few minutes right before serving.
- Get the right tools – when it comes to grilling vegetables, there are a couple of gadgets that can help you get the most of them. And if you are frequently barbecuing, you’ll definitely want to consider these:
- BBQ veggie grill pan – this can be a square or circular piece of metal with holes in it. It allows you to cook chopped vegetables or small delicate ones. It is great to stir-fry your veggies on the fire and get all the delicious aromas of the barbecue in them.
- Grill basket – the classic two sided grill with a handle. It is usually intended to flip the steaks over, but it is actually very useful for vegetables. Forget about aubergine slices sticking to the grid, with this tool grilling veggies will be a breeze.
- Sweeten your meal with fruits – barbequed fruits can make an excellent side for a savoury main. No matter if you are barbecuing meat, fish or veggies, fruits will be a great partner. Think of it this way: Most fruits are sweet, tangy and juicy, just like HP sauce or ketchup! Pears, apple, pineapples, strawberries, watermelon, peaches, melon… almost any fruit can be grilled.
It’s not only the cooking of the vegetables that’s important on the BBQ, making sure your marinade or seasoning is spot on will bring them to life and leave your guests wanting more. Check out the recipe below:
Yondu marinade for grilled veggies
Total time: 10 min
Yondu effect: Replaces soy sauce and/or salt
Recipe benefits: Easy, fat-free and clean flavor profile
3 Tbsp. Yondu
2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or another mild vinegar)
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp dry thyme
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
500g your favorite vegetables to grill
- In a bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients.
- Prepare your vegetables for the grill by washing, peeling and cutting to your desired size.
- Drizzle the marinade over your vegetables and gently toss in a tray. Leave for 5 minutes before grilling.
- Grill your vegetables, reserving the remaining marinade in the tray. Drizzle this over your vegetables when serving.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the marinade to help vegetables get golden brown if you want. You can add a teaspoon of sugar too, but we found veggies are naturally sweet enough and Yondu will enhance their sweetness!