The sun is out and summer has almost begun! Have you had the first barbecue of the season yet? Meat eaters may be in their element with this sort of al fresco cooking, but vegetarians, and all polytunnel gardeners, may be glad to know that there are plenty of veggie barbecue ideas using polytunnel produce that will keep everyone happy. (Along with other ideas for al fresco eating – such as creating pizzas with a DIY pizza oven.) Here are five great veggie barbecue ideas for your outdoors feasts:
Tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, onion, garlic, courgettes and summer squash all lend themselves well to making vegetable skewers to grill over the coals. You could add chunks of halloumi or other cheeses if you wish, or stick only to the produce you have grown yourself in your polytunnel. Make these more interesting by brushing with a marinade or pesto mix made with polytunnel grown herbs.
Broad bean or green bean burgers are easy to make. There are plenty of recipes to choose from for vegetarians and vegans, with or without egg, with breadcrumbs or oats, and with a range of different seasonings. You can use fresh, podded beans, or dried beans from the previous year’s polytunnel harvest.
Branching out, vegetarian burgers can also be made from a wide range of polytunnel-grown vegetables. A mix of grated carrots, onion, greens and courgettes, for example, can be bound with breadcrumbs, oats or eggs and whatever herbs and spices you like to make a wide range of delicious veggie burgers.
Veggie Barbecue Ideas With Flatbread Wraps
It is easy to make a simple flatbread no-yeast dough to make some rustic flatbreads to grill. You just need flour, water and salt and you have a basic dough that you can roughly stretch out to make a flat(ish) disk that will cook very quickly over the coals. You could use these flatbreads to scoop or hold vegetarian side dishes such as salads, salsas and preserves. You could add other herbs, spices, garlic or pesto to the flatbreads to enhance the flavour if you are feeling more adventurous. Use your imagination and you will find there are plenty of ways to use wraps to show off the flavours of your home-grown produce at a barbecue.
Grilled Strawberries or Other Fruits
For pudding, how about some grilled fruit? You may well grow strawberries in your polytunnel. If you do, you should definitely try these on the barbecue. Drizzle strawberries in balsamic vinegar, drizzle with honey or dust in sugar, and grill for 1-2 minutes before serving.
Check out our grow guides to find out how to grow all the ingredients you’ll need for a perfect veggie barbecue and learn just how easy and rewarding it can be to grow your own food at home.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.