Your guide to the ultimate vegetarian barbecue

Because with just a few key ingredients anyone can own the grill

Barbecue season is fast approaching and our grills are at the ready. But this year, we’re making it a wholly vegetarian affair – these best buys show why you should too:

Nuts

Dinner guests are hungry people. Really hungry people. And *hangry* people are known to frequently ask the what-time-is-dinner question. If you’re the host, choose the quiet life by transforming mixed nuts into party-ready bites with a simple seasoning.

Lettuce

Grilling lettuce for just three minutes is an easy way to provide a delicious smoky flavour, like in this grilled baby gem and corn salad with goats’ cheese. By serving with punchy, smack-you-in-the-back-of-the-throat flavour, there’s no need for meat. Seconds, please.

Chick peas

‘But you’re a vegetarian – how do you get your protein?’ Those who follow a plant-based diet, have probably heard this mantra one too many times. And the answer is simple: chick peas. Low-fat, affordable and full of vitamins and minerals, these legumes have done more than enough to deserve a place at your barbecue table. Try our Middle Eastern-style grilled aubergine with chick pea purée.

Cheese

There are lots of different ways you can cook with cheese that make it a great addition to the barbecue. Try stacking salty halloumi onto skewers (piling food onto sticks – a barbecue initiation), like in these asparagus and halloumi kebabs with lemon couscous, or wrapping feta in foil with lemon and thyme – team with soft baby potatoes, a good seasoning of black pepper and let the zestiness do the talking.

Mushrooms

These vitamin-D enriched veggies have a meaty quality that make them ripe for barbecue eating; grill and serve charred in a lemon and parsley salad with garlic parmesan croutons or place in between a burger bun for a patty no guest will be able to refuse.

Sides

Opt for popular ingredients that you can put a spin on, like this grilled avocado, soy and sesame salad – a delicious departure from the standard avo on toast. If there’s one thing that’s sure to get every hand around the table reaching for more, it’s barbecued corn with chilli and herb butters (no one can resist a homemade buttery coating). And you can’t have a barbecue without barbecue sauce.

If, like us, you can’t wait to embrace the winter weather, check out our tips on camping in the UAE.