The enticing fragrance wafting from neighbouring barbecues reminds us that summer is in full swing. What a joy to once again enjoy warmer evenings during which we can gather with friends or family around a delicious BBQ meal! When it comes to barbecue, hot dogs and hamburgers are a staple. But you can use your grill to cook more than meat. It just takes a little creativity to make veggies the star of your next BBQ meal.
Here are some simple culinary tips that will help you serve vegetables differently:
1- Reinvented vegetable medleys
Think outside the box and explore new vegetable combinations.
The trio of fennel, sweet potatoes and sweet onions will surely delight your guests. Drizzle with olive oil and a dab of butter before putting everything on the barbecue.
2- Skewers featuring various mushrooms
This tip applies to all lovers of meat skewers! Increase your vegetable intake by serving skewers made entirely of vegetables. Of course, you can also have meat kebabs, but having a balance between the two will make you more inclined to consume more veggies.
White mushrooms, cremini, portobellos, oyster mushrooms, chanterelles and shiitake are interesting varieties to discover this summer. For a touch of colour, slide a few small tomatoes between the mushrooms.
In Québec, we’re privileged by the varieties and freshness of the cabbages available to us during the summer. Turn them into a real vegetable "steak.”
Cut a whole cabbage into large slices and brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with fleur de sel and a little rosemary. When ready to serve, sprinkle with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction.
Cooking Tip: Don't have a balsamic vinegar reduction on hand? Make your own by simply reducing balsamic vinegar until it is slightly syrupy. Be sure to use care when preparing it, as it will quickly become very syrupy.
4- Whole cauliflower
When it comes time to sharing a dish with others, this one will undoubtedly be all the rage. Whole cauliflower is quick and easy to prepare and steals the show when served in the centre of the table.
Place it on a sheet of aluminum foil (make sure you use a piece large enough to eventually wrap around the entire cauliflower), brush it with olive oil and then with your favourite spices. My winning combination is turmeric, paprika, garlic powder and a little brown sugar. Close the foil so that the cauliflower is completely wrapped. Cook over low heat on the barbecue for about an hour.
5- Grilled avocado
You’ll certainly impress your guests by serving this grilled vegetable. It couldn't be easier: cut the avocado in half and brush it with a drizzle of olive oil. Place the flesh of the avocado halves on the grill. Drizzle with lime juice and fleur de sel just before serving.
For all you barbecue enthusiasts, there’s definitely no reason to give up vegetables. By following these simple tips, you can now take advantage of them and cook and entire meal outside on the grill, while reducing your kitchen clean-up chores at the same time!
Familiprix in collaboration with Hubert Cormier