Grilled Pumpkin – a savory treat

grilled-pumpkin

 

If you need an excuse to get out on the grill this Thanksgiving, here it is: Grilled Pumpkin. A savory treat that’s easy (provided you are careful cutting the pumpkin) and delicious.

Improvise as you like, pumpkin holds up well to lots of different flavors. Here’s a recipe to guide you.

 

Ingredients

1 Pumpkin (per 1 lb)
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 crushed garlic cloves

 

1. Prep

Preheat your grill / BBQ for medium-hot, direct grilling. Cut pumpkin into 1/2 inch thick wedges . Deseed

Tip: Leave the skin on so the pumpkin slices stay together. Trim off skin before serving if you like.

 

2. Mix together

Mix paprika, olive oil and garlic in a bowl with the pumpkin.

 

3. “Time to sear me some pumpkin”

Grill the pumpkin 3-5 minutes on one side, turn and cook until tender. The pumpkin slides should be fork tender.

 

Grilled Avocados and Other Audacious Vegetables

We know that barbecuing and meat go hand and hand, while vegetables are kind of an afterthought. Thrown somewhere in between the quest for a bloody steak and a cold beer. That guilty feeling of neglect for my body has inspired me to test out a few barbecued vegetables.

 

 

1. Grilled Avocado

While avocado can be great on almost everything, grilling up halves of avocado was something I wouldn’t have expected to be so good. The smoky taste from the grill seems to match perfectly with avocado. Who would have thunk it? Highly recommended.

When ripe, an avocado has pale yellow to gold flesh and a delicate, sweet, nutty flavor. It should be just starting to soften. About as firm as the tip of your nose, rather than soft like your cheek.

How to cook: Slice avocados in half, remove the seed and brush each side with olive oil and lime juice. Grill for 5 to 7 minutes. If you like you can fill the hole with salsa or sour cream and sprinkle with cilantro.

 

 

2. Asparagus

While asparagus is quite often seen on a barbecue, I think it deserves a mention, purely because of how great it is. Asparagus must be purchased locally. Asparagus starts turning starchy straight after being cut.  It should be eaten as soon as possible, preferably the day it is cut.

How to cook: Break the bottom of the asparagus off to remove the woody part. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Place perpendicular to the grill so the spears don’t fall through the grill. Cook for roughly 3 or 4 minutes over a medium high heat. They should still have a bite to them.

 

3. Garlic

Rather than mixed in marinades or fried, roasting heads of garlic whole on the barbecue is fantastic. Simply cut off the root end and roast garlic indirectly for 30-60 minutes with the lid down, until the cloves are soft. To eat, squeeze the head of garlic onto bread, food, or just about anything.

4. Onions

Roasted onions are delicious and combine well with the garlic above. When they are quartered, they take about the same amount of time to cook as the garlic heads.

Asparagus and Green Bean Stir-fry

20 spears of asparagus, woody ends removed
20 whole green beans, strings removed and topped and tailed
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 – 3 teaspoons sesame oil
1 – 2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ cup cashew nuts (optional)

Place asparagus in a bowl and pour 2 – 3 cups boiling water over. Leave for 1 minute, then remove from hot water and refresh under cold running water.
Repeat this procedure with the beans.
Heat the olive oil in a wok or heavy frying pan on the gas burner/ring, add the asparagus and beans and stir-fry until tender.
Add the sesame oil, soy sauce and cashew nuts and stir through.
Serve immediately.

Potato Cakes with Crispy Bacon and Apple Sauce

6 potatoes
1 small onion
1 apple
2 eggs
½ cup cornstarch (cornflour)
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Oil
8 rashers bacon
1 cup apple sauce

Peel potatoes, onion and apple then grate them. Place in sieve or colander and squeeze out as much juice as possible. Place in a bowl and mix in eggs, cornstarch, salt and pepper until combined. Oil a grill hotplate and cook half cupfuls of the mixture, over a medium heat, until golden and potato cooked. While potato cakes are cooking remove rind from bacon and cook on grill.
Serve potato cakes stacked with crispy bacon and apple sauce.

Vegetable Stir Fry

2 onions
17½oz. broccoli
3 stalks celery
¼ cabbage
9oz. snow peas
1 red pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated root ginger
¼ cup chicken stock

Peel onions and cut into quarters. Trim broccoli stalks and cut into florets. Trim celery and cut into ¾” slices on the diagonal. Remove cabbage stalk and cut leaves coarsely. Trim snowpeas. Deseed pepper and cut flesh into thin strips or cubes. Heat vegetable and sesame oil in a wok over the grill. Add ginger, cabbage, broccoli and onion. Stir-fry for one minute. Add celery and pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in chicken stock. Cover wok and cook for about 3 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Serve immediately.
Serves 6.

Chargrilled Vegetables with Vinaigrette

1 eggplant (aubergine)
Salt
4 courgette’s
2 red peppers
1 green pepper
1 clove garlic
Oil
¼ cup vinaigrette
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Cut eggplant lengthwise into ¼” thick slices. Sprinkle cut slices with salt and leave for 30 minutes. Wash salt from eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Cut ends from courgette’s and cut into thirds lengthwise. Cut peppers into quarters lengthwise and remove seeds. Crush and peel garlic. Brush vegetables with oil and rub with garlic. Cook prepared vegetables over a medium heat on the grill for 4 to 5 minutes or until cooked. Place on a serving platter and pour over vinaigrette to coat. Serve warm or cold garnished with chopped parsley.

Vinaigrette

1 shallot (or a small amount of onion)
1 clove garlic
¼ cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as parsley and marjoram
¾ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon prepared whole seed mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Peel shallot and slice thinly. Crush peel and mash garlic. Place ingredients in a screw top jar and shake to combine. Leave for at least 2 hours before using. Shake well before use.
Makes about 1 ¼ cups.

Corn cobs

Young corn cobs
Butter

Ensure the corn is young by pressing a fingernail into a grain, if the liquid inside is milky then use this method, otherwise use the other method for corn. Don’t grill very mature corn.

Young Corn: Pull back the husk on the corn and remove the silk. Brush the cob with butter and re-wrap the husk around it. Cover with a 10cm wide band of foil. Grill turning frequently, until all sides are very hot and the exposed husks char, about 5-10 minutes.

Corn: De-husk the corn, brush with butter and seal well in foil. Cook on the grill rack turning frequently until cooked. Alternatively, precook the corn and reheat in foil with butter.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms
Garlic butter
Soaked bamboo skewers

Coat mushrooms in garlic butter, or any oil based baste of your choice and thread onto the soaked bamboo skewers. Cook over a grill rack or directly on the preheated hotplate. Mushrooms can be added to quick cooking vegetable kebabs with other vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, precooked new potatoes, and sliced red and yellow peppers.

Potato Cakes

2 cups mashed seasoned potatoes
1 cup self raising flour

Mix ingredients together to form a firm mixture- using more flour if required. Cook immediately on a hot well oiled solid plate. Uncooked mixture softens on prolonged standing.

New Potatoes

26oz small potatoes
1 tablespoon butter
2 sprigs of fresh mint

To boil: Scrub and place new potatoes in a pot with the mint sprigs and boil until just tender, drain and melt the butter over the potatoes.
To Microwave: Scrub and place the potatoes, butter, mint and 2 tablespoons of water into a microwave proof oven bag. Fasten bag with a rubber band leaving a finger sized opening for steam. Microwave on full power for about 8 minutes, repositioning potatoes in the bag twice, until potatoes are barely tender.

Thread potatoes onto skewers, either alone or with other vegetables. Brush with melted butter or garlic herb butter before cooking on an oiled rack until nicely browned.