Charred green salad with burrata
This was one of the biggest surprises for me while testing recipes for my book. As the seed of an idea, I thought it probably wouldn’t be as fun as it sounded, but it’s actually much better. The natural sweetness of the sugar snap peas and broccoli contrasts so well with their bitter charred edges, and the gem lettuce traps all the dressing in its various fringes and gills. The salad really doesn’t need the cheese, to be honest. But people do like burrata.
Preparation 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
1 accumulated tablespoon pumpkin seeds
200g tender broccoli
150g sugar snaps
2 cuties lettucelengthwise into quarters
Neutral oil (e.g. sunflower or vegetable)
1 small hand basil leaves (optional)
1 burrata (optional)
For the dressing
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tsp honey
1 garlic clovepeeled and crushed or finely grated
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
Prepare a barbecue for instant cooking over medium heat. Combine the dressing ingredients and some salt and pepper in a clean jar or bowl with a lid and shake or whisk to combine.
Lightly toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, moving them around to keep them from burning and set them aside.
Toss the broccoli, sugar snap peas and little gems in a little neutral oil and season with salt. Thread the sugar snaps onto a skewer and then grill all vegetables over direct heat until nicely charred. Don’t be afraid to get some really charred bits on that broccoli — it comes alive in the dressing. (To cook indoors, heat a cast iron griddle pan over high heat for at least five minutes and use it to roast the vegetables.)
Mix all the warm, grilled vegetables with the dressing and arrange on a plate. Stir in the pumpkin seeds and basil if desired. Sprinkle with the burrata, if you like, and serve.
Sweet cabbage with brown shrimp butter
Also known by its much more trendy nickname, hispi, the sweet cabbage was made for grilling. The strips of leaves burn a little while the center softens and steams. I love it with a lemon laced butter and lots of little brown shrimp, which are soft and buttery themselves.
Preparation 5 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Serves 2 as main course4 with other dishes
2 sweet cabbagesflappy outer leaves removed and discarded, the rest cut into quarters
sea salt and black or white pepper
100g brown shrimp
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Prepare a barbecue for instant cooking over medium heat. Cook the cabbage quarters in a pan of boiling salted water for two minutes and then drain. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once the cabbage quarters have drained, brush with a little of the melted butter.
Grill the cabbage over direct heat for six to eight minutes on each side, until charred. (To cook indoors, heat a cast iron griddle pan over high heat for at least five minutes, then grill the blanched cabbage quarters over high heat until well charred and cooked through.)
Put the brown shrimp, the lemon juice and some salt and pepper in the butter pan and cook the shrimp until done.
Place the cabbage quarters cut-side up on a plate, pour over the shrimp butter and serve.
Spring coleslaw with sugar snaps, almonds and miso
Coleslaw is arguably the best barbecue side dish of all time and should get the attention it deserves. This spring iteration is light, fresh, and crunchy, with enough savory intensity in the dressing to keep you coming back for another scoop or three.
Preparation 10 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
30g blanched almonds
1 tsp white miso
tsp ground white pepper
150g sugar snapscut lengthwise into thin slices
3 spring onionscut lengthwise into thin slices
1 kohlrabi (about 350 g), peeled and thinly sliced (use a mandolin, if you have one)
Sea salt (optional)
2 tbsp finely chopped dill
Lightly toast the almonds in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown in places (about five minutes). Remove from heat and chop coarsely.
Place the white miso, buttermilk and white pepper in a bowl and whisk together.
Mix the sugar snap peas, spring onions and kohlrabi in a bowl. Pour over the buttermilk dressing, toss well and check for taste – you can add a small pinch of salt, although the miso is already salty. When you’re happy, add the toasted almonds and dill and serve.
Recipes Extracted from Live Fire: Seasonal Barbecue Recipes and Stories of Live Fire Traditions Old and New, by Helen Graves, published by Hardie Grant for £26. To order a copy for £22.62, go to Guardianbookshop.com