Hot charred and smokey aubergines and courgettes, delicious for a bit of outdoor dining. The best thing about these skewers is that the pre cooked veggies get a coating of garlicky, spicy sweet tangy tomato sauce, that smell so good on the grill. Make sure to turn and char them for extra flavour.
You’ll have seen the veggie skewers with big lumps of aubergine and peppers and courgettes, it’s hard to get the flavour straight to the core, but with these it works a dream!
They are a bit fiddly so I’ve cooked them on a flat frying pan, so be careful on the BBQ. If you char them on the BBQ, pre-soak the wooden sticks in water for 30 minutes to prevent them burning.
Courgettes will be abundant on the farm come July/August so save this to try then too.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
Step 2: Slice the aubergine and courgette into fairly thin slices so they cook quickly and are easy to thread onto the skewers. Lay them on the baking trays, brush with cooking oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the aubergine and courgette slices for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and soft. Let them cool for 10 minutes.
Step 3: While they cool make the sauce. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
Step 4: Thread one piece of aubergine and one piece of courgette onto the skewer. Lay on a baking tray and brush on the sauce.
Step 5: Heat a frying pan and cook the skewers on the hot pan to sear and char. Brush on more sauce as they cook, turn to cook on both sides.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve. Eat them off the skewer, have with salad or add to flatbreads with hummus and enjoy as a sandwich.
This is my simple and adaptable method for BBQing our gorgeous new potatoes! I have fond memories of pricking large jacket potatoes, wrapping them in foil and packing them in with the food for camping trips. Then we would carefully tuck them into the BBQ coals to bake while the rest of the grilling was done, they’d often come out perfect if we remembered to turn them occasionally, but more often than not, half the potato would burn and half would be raw, or the coals would burn out before the potato was done and there’d be some disappointment… So this way of par-boiling, dressing then skewering little salad potatoes provides a much more consistent result.
Start by boiling scrubbed new potatoes until they are nearly cooked through. Test a few larger ones with a sharp knife or skewer. Then drain the potatoes and allow them to cool in the colander while you prepare a tasty marinade or dressing!
I love potatoes with garlic and herbs. This time I mixed olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic, rosemary and lemon zest in a large bowl. Then toss the par cooked new potatoes in the dressing.
Push the potatoes on skewers (or cook in a BBQ basket) and get them onto a plate or tray ready to pop over the coals.
Cook on the BBQ, turning often until soft, smokey and delicious!
Then push them off the skewers, back into the dressing bowl and toss again to get any last bits of dressing and flavour back over the delicious, charred potatoes. Enjoy!
We are obsessed with salsas! Scooping up salsa with tortilla crisps has got to be one of the best ways to get kids to eat a load of fresh, raw veggies too. Putting out a big bowl of salsa and tortillas while the BBQ is getting going keeps everyone happy. And of course, salsa is a key ingredient in a taco. There are countless variations, enjoy playing around and finding a fun combination that you love. The version below is a super simple one which I know my whole family will love, but I also love adding fruit like diced pineapple, cherries, mango or peaches and adding finely sliced fresh chillies or a spoon of smokey chipotle chilli paste. Grilled corn and diced avocado are also stunning additions. Share your favourite combination with us in the comments?
Ingredients (makes enough for a whole large bag of tortilla chips)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lime – juiced
1 clove of garlic – crushed
a pinch of salt
1 red pepper – diced
1/3rd of a large cucumber – diced
1/2 a punnet of honey drop cherry tomatoes – diced
Babaganoush is similar to hummus, but made with aubergine rather than chickpeas. It’s softer, silkier and deliciously smokey! I always pop a few aubergines on the barbecue to make this dip. You can grill them in a hot griddle pan or roast them in the oven instead, but they won’t be as smokey. You’re looking to really blacken them on the outside and let them collapse and get silky soft in the middle. The blackened skin is then peeled off, then the flesh is blended (or mashed if you like more texture) with garlic, tahini, lemon and olive oil. Here’s my recipe for one aubergine. Serve with grilled or raw veg, salads, on toast or with pitta bread strips to scoop it all up.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS? A pinch each of cumin and smoked paprika and some pomegranate seeds and sesame seeds for garnishing.
Grill or barbecue the aubergine until it’s completely soft inside and the skin is burnt and blackened.
Allow it to cool enough to handle, then slice it in half lengthways and scoop all the flesh out into a bowl to mash or blender to blend smooth. Scrape the skin carefully to get every bit of aubergine into the mix. Those bits nearer the skin have the best, smokey flavour.
Add the garlic (crush or finely grate first if mashing rather than blending), olive oil, tahini and lemon.
Blend or mash into a spoonable mixture, then taste and add salt and more lemon to taste.
Spoon the mixture into a small serving bowl and top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and optional extras like pomegranate seeds, sesame seeds, smoked paprika, cumin…
Enjoy scooped up with flatbreads or toasted pitta bread and salads.
This romesco sauce is THE MOST delicious accompaniment to barbecued vegetables, it is our take on the special sauce used during calçot festivals in Catalonia (where barbecued large leek/scallion-like vegetables are dunked in romesco in their thousands). We make it on repeat all summer! It’s silky, nutty, savoury, sweet and smokey. Dunk freshly grilled vegetables or bread in it or even use it as a stunning pasta sauce. Spread it into wraps or sandwiches, smear it on a plate and top with salads and grilled veg, or just eat it with a spoon! You’ll fall for this sauce hard so let us know your favourite way to eat it.
There are as many traditional recipes as there are cooks in Catalonia and if you’re a fan of romesco you may notice bread, hazelnuts and tomatoes are missing from this one. Of course you should feel free to add them back in, but I love the undiluted, smokey roasted pepper flavour of our recipe. Use roasted or barbecued red peppers and good olive oil, or for ease, one of our new jars of organic ready roasted peppers in oil. We also sell bulk bags of organic almonds (and hazelnuts) in compostable packaging. Sherry vinegar is traditional in this Catalonian recipe, but actually, we love using the raw, organic, Irish, apple cider vinegar from Clashganny Farm in Co. Waterford instead. It’s gorgeous stuff, why not add a bottle to your next order?
1 190g jar of roasted peppers & the oil*
*OR* 2 roasted/grilled red peppers & 4 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of raw garlic, peeled
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp vinegar (sherry or apple cider)
1 handful of roasted almonds (about 50g)
a pinch of salt
Roast the almonds in the oven until they just start to take on some colour – for about 5 minutes – or toast them in a dry pan on the hob.
If you are roasting/grilling your own peppers, cook them on a high heat until the skins are blistered and the flesh is soft. Then cool and peel off as much of the blackened skin as you can, remove the stem and seeds. Otherwise just use one of our jars of grilled peppers.
Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend into a silky, smooth sauce.
If you like a thicker sauce, with more of a hummus-like texture, you can simply add more toasted almonds and blend again.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt, smoked paprika or vinegar.
Keep the sauce in a jar in the fridge and use within a week.