When you’re throwing a barbecue or need to take a dish along to one you’ve been invited to, it’s good to have some recipe ideas up your sleeve. This was the inspiration for the latest photo shoot for the Good Food Channel website and I came up with a mixture of tasty side dishes to compliment grilled meats, dressings to perk up salad leaves, and a couple of cheeky dessert options to finish off proceedings nicely.
Fennel, apple and walnut slaw
I find traditional coleslaw in mayonnaise really sickly, so my version has a much lighter dressing and punchier flavours. The sunflower seeds and chopped walnuts give it an extra crunch and a bit of nutrition boosting vitamin B6 and magnesium. Pile it into a kilner jar and take it to a picnic, barbecue or just keep it in the fridge for munching on with lunch.
Potato salad with bacon and parmesan
It wouldn’t be a summer feast without a big bowl of potato salad to get stuck into. My bold take is bursting with umami flavours from the parmesan and bacon, the baby new potatoes are set off nicely with fresh sage and finished in a creme fraiche and grain mustard dressing. I could quite happily just sit with a fork and eat this as a meal in itself, but it does go beautifully with grilled meats.
Sweet potato wedges with chorizo
Potato wedges are a great barbecue side, and these chaps are roasted with lip-smacking mini chorizo sausages to give them a sticky paprika jacket giving way to that delicious sweet flesh. Ideal with a nice juicy steak…
Putting food in jars transforms something humble into a bit of a superstar – especially if you’re off on a posh picnic. The beauty of this one is that the prawns in the base are in a tasty marinade, that once turned upside down and tipped out into a bowl, cleverly acts as your salad dressing.
Butternut squash, feta and quinoa salad
I wasn’t convinced about quinoa, bit of a weird slippery texture when you’ve cooked it, but once you’ve jazzed it up with lots of tasty bed fellows like lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs, roasted butternut squash and feta you’ve got a bit of a wow dish on your hands. Scatter with some jewel-like pomegranate seeds and it’s ready to impress as part of your barbecue spread.
You can’t have a barbecue without some barbecue sauce. I’ve never been a fan of the smoky flavoured ones, so this one is inspired by my mum’s store cupboard creations and given a summery lift with some orange zest. Use it as a dip, spread into burger buns or to brush over chicken drumsticks before slinging them on the grill.
Lemon, honey and mustard dressing
This is my absolute favourite salad dressing – it only has three ingredients, has zero fat in it and is full of flavour. As with all home made dressings, just make sure you taste it as you make it to get the balance of flavours right.
Lime, coriander and sesame dressing
You would not believe how hard it is to get an unattractive brown liquid to look pretty! Salad dressings taste great, but let’s face it they don’t always match up in the looks department. Luckily we had some nice props in action and the clever Sharron behind the lens! This dressing is a lush South East Asian inspired affair.
I’ll be bringing you the summer dessert selection soon!
Thanks to Sharron Gibson for stunning photography as ever and for Anna and Becs at the Good Food Channel – twas a cooking marathon but great fun!