It doesn’t always have to be about the meat when it comes to a Sunday lunch, or even a BBQ for that matter. Well that’s what I’m going to show you today anyway. Vegetables can be just as exciting and make a great alternative Sunday lunch with friends.
Back in May, I was meant to attend a John lewis event with Ed Smith from Rocket and Squash for a BBQ masterclass. Ed showed that a barbecue doesn’t just have to be sausages and burgers, there are so many great ways to grill vegetables along side your other dishes! Sadly I had to drop out very last minute so I missed out on all the recipes created on the night, but you can find all the delicious creations here.
And there was of course beautiful homeware on show available from John Lewis. I mean who doesn’t like their homeware! It’s my go-to place, I can get lost if that department of the Oxford Street branch for hours.
The challenge set on the night was to create our own BBQ recipes. As I couldn’t make it I was kindly sent a copy of Ed’s new cook book – On the Side. This is my kind of cookbook! First of all, Ed is a brilliant writer, but what I love most about the book is the ideas and suggestions he puts around all of the gorgeous recipes. It really helps to get your creative cooking juices flowing so you can create your own great meals.
I wanted to use Ed’s premise that it doesn’t have to all about the meat, and that vegetables can also make a big appearance. I’ve recently been doing lots of reading about the environmental impacts that come from meat eating (I studied Environmental Management at university so it’s always something I’ve been aware of) and I’m now trying to make more of a conscious effort to eat less meat. Mainly at home because I find it so hard to resist when out! And so when the girls were coming over for Sunday lunch I thought I would put this into action!
Flicking through the book you’ll want to make everything. But one of the first recipes I stopped at was the purple sprouting broccoli with ricotta and orzo. It looked like the perfect summer salad to go alongside barbecued food. Now, I knew I wanted to barbecue halloumi as it’s super easy and quite ‘meaty’. So I decided to adapt the recipe a little and take out the ricotta (I didn’t want to overdo it on the cheese) and used tenderstem broccoli as this was all my farmer’s market had! I thought the lemon and chilli would work well with the halloumi.
Then I saw a beautiful looking roast romano peppers recipe. We eat as much with our mouths as we do our eyes. And I knew this would look lovely against the other dishes as well as complimenting the flavours. I love creating a beautiful looking meal for friends!
So that’s my alternative vegetarian BBQ Sunday lunch menu. Oh and it only takes about 45 minutes from start to finish!
– Tenderstem broccoli with orzo
– Roast romano peppers
– Barbecued halloumi
And let me know other great veggie barbecue dishes in the comments below!
Alternative vegetarian BBQ Sunday lunch menu
Tenderstem broccoli with orzo
- 400g tenderstem broccoli
- 80g orzo pasta
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Leaves from 8 – 10 stems tarragon, roughly chopped
- Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- Trim any woody ends from the broccoli stems and cut the leaves from the stalks. Keep these for later!
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the orzo to the pan and simmer for the time stated on the packet.
- When there is 6 minutes remaining on the orzo add the main broccoli stems to the pan. After another 3 minutes add the leaves and sliced garlic to the pan.
- Drain the broccoli and orzo and return them to the pan. Add the oil, tarragon, chilli, lemon zest and juice, lots of black pepper and a good pinch of salt. Gently toss to make sure the orzo and broccoli are evenly coated. Pop into a serving dish ready for the table.
Roast romano peppers
- 4 romano peppers, sliced in half length-ways
- leaves from 6 sprigs of thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 16 cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp capers, roughly chopped
- Leaves from 4 stems flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C. Put the pepper halves onto a baking tray, cut-side up. Use a dish that is big enough for them to fit in one layer.
- Season with salt and pepper, scatter the thyme together with the garlic over the peppers and drizzle with the oil. Then place 2 cherry tomatoes in each pepper half.
- Roast in the top half of the oven for about 25 minutes or until the peppers have softened and charing a little and the tomatoes have blistered. Don’t let them dry out.
- Remove from the oven and add a drop or two of red wine vinegar to each pepper and sprinkle with capers and parsley. I actually served in the same dish s the pepper are so soft you don’t want to break them up. Let people dig in themselves!
I don’t think this even needs a method! Slice your halloumi and place on a BBQ for a few minutes each side until browned. It can also be easily done in a hot frying pan. Serve immediately.
* I was sent a complimentary copy of Ed’s cookbook, but as always views remain my own.
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