A note about barbequing: The best way to bbq is by lighting your bbq in advance of cooking. The bbq needs to be hotter than you would like to cook initially as this will sterilize the grill and really get the heat going. When it is really good and hot (about 10 mins for a gas bbq & 30 mins for a charcoal bbq), use a wire brush or scraper to clean the rack. Reduce the temperature to about 200˚C, or as a rule of thumb, you should only be able to hover your hand over the surface for about 5 secs! Avoid cooking on direct flames as this will burn the outside while leaving the middle raw. It is a good idea to keep a silicone brush and a little jug of oil next to the BBQ to keep everything well-oiled. While BBQing, try not to constantly move the food around…allow it to sit & sear!
Lamb and Feta Burgers
For the burgers:
450 g lamb mince
1 red onion
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoon fresh oregano (use a teaspoon of dried if you don’t have fresh)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
100g feta cheese, crumbled
1 egg, whisked lightly (to bind)
For the raita:
1 small tub natural yogurt
Fresh mint, finely chopped
½ a cucumber, seeds removed with a teaspoon & diced
1 clove garlic, minced or chopped finely
Pitta breads & Rocket Leaves
- Combine all the ingredients for the burgers in a bowl, keeping half of the egg back.
- Mix thoroughly and check the mix is wet enough to hold together and add more egg if necessary
- Season the mixture and cook a teaspoonful of it to taste
- Shape into patties and refrigerate if time allows as this helps to keep their shape
- Cook on a skillet or pan or best, on the BBQ!
- Cook for 5-8 mins on each side, checking the middle of one to ensure it is cooked through
- Leave to rest for 5 mins
- To make the raita, combine the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and mint
- Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and remove the seeds with a teaspoon
- Chop the cucumber finely and add to the yogurt
- Taste and adjust seasoning
I love to serve these burgers in lightly toasted pitta bread as it is lighter than burger buns but please feel free to use what you like!
Assemble the burger in the bread you are using and top with the raita and some rocket leaves. Dig in!
Lemon, Garlic & Yoghurt Marinated Chicken
2 tablespoons plain Greek Yoghurt
1 Lemon, zested
1 clove garlic, minced
2 chicken breast fillets, sliced lengthways to give about 6 pieces per fillet
Place the yoghurt, lemon zest and garlic in a bowl and add the chicken pieces. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least an hour.
When you are ready to BBQ it, thread the chicken onto metal skewers.
Place on a medium heat on the BBQ, turning every 3 mins or so to ensure it is evenly cooked. You can check the very centre of one piece to be sure. The metal skewers are helpful as they conduct the heat and help to cook the chicken from the inside out.
Griddled Courgette, Wild Rice & Chilli Salad
This is a really nice simple summery lunch or suppertime dish. Although I have used a griddle pan here, it really is perfect for the BBQ and is best enjoyed al fresco with a chilled glass of white wine. A crisp sauvignon blanc would be good or maybe even a Riesling or gewürztraminer.
1 red chilli, sliced
1 lemon, zest & juice
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 courgette, sliced thinly lengthways
100g wild rice, boiled and used warmish if possible
100g feta or goat’s cheese, crumbled
A handful of flaked almonds, toasted on a dry pan
Some fresh mint, chopped
A good glug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt flakes
In the meantime, drizzle the courgette with oil & season with the salt. Place these on the griddle too. Turn after 3 mins and cook until softened and charred a little.
In a bowl, place the still-warm rice with the griddled courgette, cheese, lemon juice, olive oil & salt. Taste for seasoning and if you are happy, top with the mint & toasted flaked almonds.
Choose any veg you fancy! We are using:
Baby Gem lettuce
Fennel, sliced & blanched
Potatoes, sliced & blanched
Flat cap mushrooms
Arrange all your veg on a tray or platter & drizzle with oil & season with salt & pepper
Place on the BBQ and allow to cook for a few minutes on each side until charred and cooked thorough. I like to drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice & fresh herbs such as oregano & parsley.