If the phrase “vegetarian barbecue food” leaves you cold, we feel your pain. Barbecue season has traditionally not been kind to vegans and vegetarians, who tend to be lumbered with huge quantities of shrivelled mushrooms on sticks. All that’s about to change, however, with the release of Rukmini Iyer’s latest book, The Green Barbecue. The ever-inventive author of the bestselling Roasting Tin series has turned her attention to the world of outdoor cooking, and the results are truly game-changing. With her trademark flair for flavour, Rukmini reinvigorates the whole concept of plant-based barbecue food – we’re talking juicy papaya seared on the barbecue and paired with fresh herbs; silky, blackened peppers tossed with toasted nuts; and vegan burgers like you’ve never seen them before. Like a cool glass of water on a dusty summer day, these recipes are coming into our lives just when we need them most, with warm weather before us and many joyous back garden gatherings to look forward to. You’ll find plenty in The Green Barbecue for vegetarians (Griddled Pineapple, Halloumi and Mint Skewers, we’re looking at you), but more than half the recipes are entirely plant-based, making this the perfect book to cater to the vegans in your life. To get a sense of the kinds of vegan recipes you’ll find in the book, scroll on for a selection of our favourites . . .
From the book
The Green Barbecue
A fresh perspective on meat-free summertime meals
With flavour-packed recipes for outdoor and indoor cooking
From hearty vegan burgers to vibrant, refreshing salads
The combination of textures and flavours in this simple dish will blow your mind: crispy tofu, crunchy carrot pickle, and fresh lettuce, served up with a highly addictive Vietnamese-inspired dipping sauce. If you’ve never tried nuoc cham before, prepare to meet your new favourite sauce.
Meaty and moreish, these mushroom and black bean burgers are flavoured with chipotle, peanut and lime. They’re positively begging to be devoured along with a cold, crisp beer.
Grilled Papaya with Tamarind, Chilli and Coconut
This is one to really make your tastebuds tingle – searing the papaya intensifies its natural sweetness, which is offset beautifully by the tangy tamarind. Add a sprinkle of coconut and you’ve got yourself a show-stealing side dish.
Blackened Peppers with Walnuts, Chilli and Fennel Seeds
A riff on the classic Middle Eastern dish of muhamarra, this combination of roasted red peppers and fragrant parsley and walnut pesto will go with pretty much everything.
Sichuan Aubergine with Black Bean Sauce
If you’re planning a South East Asian-inspired barbecue feast, start with these lightly charred aubergine slices, coated in black bean sauce and served with a mouthwatering chilli and sesame dressing.
Simple Sage and Onion Cannellini Burgers
Served with Dijon mustard, these sage-infused cannellini burgers make for a hearty, plant-based feast – they travel well too, so they’re ideal for a picnic.
Crispy Ginger Cauliflower Wings with Tamarind and Coriander
A simple but highly effective tamarind sauce takes these crispy cauliflower “wings” to the next level. Our advice? Make double; these will disappear with alarming speed.
Lime and Chilli Sweetcorn Fritters with Roasted Tomatoes
Who can resist a fritter? The combination of lime and chilli make these crispy sweetcorn fritters particularly tempting, especially when served with roasted cherry tomatoes.
Simply Roasted Apricots with Apricots and Pistachio
It’s not all about the savoury stuff; The Green Barbecue also contains a selction of gorgeous desserts and sweet treats, including these fragrant roasted apricots, dressed in orange and rose syrup and sprinkled with rose petals and chopped pistachios.
Gunpowder Potatoes with Fennel Seeds, Chilli, Coriander, and Cashews
Every barbecue needs a standout starchy side dish, and these Gunpowder Potatoes fit the bill very nicely. Crispy, spiced potatoes with toasted cashew nuts and a zingy spritz of lemon juice – carb heaven.