The Not So Sunny BBQ

Around comes July and up go the umbrellas, but we did not let the cloudy skies deter us from a weekend BBQ. With an extra fire to keep of the chills the menu was as follows:

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Rosé and vegetable crisps
The most delicious local pork sausages
Halloumi kebabs
Butternut squash with pesto, feta and pomegranate
Nutty green couscous
Falafel and hummus

Luckily for me, being an inept BBQer, my friend stepped in and did a marvellous job – even if it took a little longer than anticipated to heat up (start earlier than you think!).

Feeling organised I’d prepared as much of the food I could before my friend’s arrived. This meant plating things up on a tray that could easily be placed next to the BBQ.

I first made the Nutty Green Couscous:

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2 cups couscous
1 cup peas (I always use frozen)
1 cup soya beans/ broad beans
½ cup pistachios
½ cup pine nuts
1 lemon

Cook the peas and beans accordingly, then shock with cold water. Set aside. Cook the couscous according to packet instructions then fluff with a fork. Toast the pistachios and pine nuts (watch them!!). Bring it all together: stir the peas and beans through the couscous, adding the zest of half a lemon and a squeeze of juice along with a tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Finish by sprinkling the nuts on top. Cover in cling film and leave on your tray.

Next I plated up the sausages and put them on the tray alongside the falafel (Waitrose finest I’m afraid), hummus, fresh pesto and asparagus covering what need to be covered.

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Realising that the squash would take far too long to cook through on the BBQ, I prebaked it in the oven. Cutting in into four (lengthways) chunks it took 50 minutes on 200oC with a twist of pepper and drizzle of olive oil.
For its topping I put 1 cup of pomegranate seeds and 1 cup of feta side by side on a plate, which I then too put on the tray (it was a big tray).

My friend also brought along some of her favourite halloumi kebabs: new potatoes, pepper, sage and halloumi.

When it came to the cooking the sausages went on first, shortly followed by the squash to finish it off and get a good charred layer. Next the asparagus, kebabs – which were cooked in batches – and then the falafel to heat through.

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Once the squash was done it was dolloped with pesto and jewelled with feta and pomegranate. The rest of the food was plated up and people helped themselves – being very hungry by this point!

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