As soon as the sun comes out our thoughts naturally turn to eating - and cooking - outdoors. Summer is synonymous with good old-fashioned back garden barbecuing in the company of friends and family. There’s no better way to eat well in the summertime than to combine deliciously marinated cuts of meat, fish or veggies with a variety of eye-catching salads. Here’s a sample of my favourite summer barbecue recipes that are guaranteed to steal the show. And proof indeed that eating healthy is anything but boring!
Barbecued Jerk Chicken (Serves 4-8)
1 whole chicken or equivalent pieces (1- 1.5kgs) 1 tbsp allspice berries 1 tbsp black peppercorns ½ tsp cinnamon ½ tsp ground nutmeg 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped 4 spring onions, chopped 2 scotch bonnet or other hot chillies, finely chopped (use rubber gloves to chop them!) 1 tbsp coconut sugar ½ tsp salt 2 tbsp soy sauce juice of a lime
Grind the allspice and peppercorns, and combine with the onions, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg and chilies. Mix and loosen with a splash of olive oil. Pour into a wide bowl and stir in the soy sauce, sugar, salt and the lime juice. Add the chicken pieces one by one, massaging the mixture into the chicken as you go (don’t forget to rub under the skin, too). Marinate for as long as you can but preferably overnight. Heat the oven to 180˚C. Place the chicken pieces in a warmed roasting dish and cover with foil. Cook in the oven for 45 mins, then rest the meat until you’re ready to barbecue. Finish the chicken pieces on the barbecue, grilling for a minute or two on each side.
Barbecued Harissa Sardines (Serves 8)
8 sardines (or mackerel fillets) 1 heaped tsp harissa paste extra virgin olive oil juice of 2 lemons natural yoghurt, to serve
Mix the harissa paste in a bowl with a glug of olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Gently massage the mixture into each fish. Place on the barbecue and cook for a minute or two on each side, brushing with more harrissa if desired. Turn the sardines very gently. You can tell if they are cooked if you can pinch the flesh from the thickest part fairly easily. Put all the fish on a platter, scatter with fresh herbs, a large squeeze of lemon and bowl of natural yoghurt with a dollop of harissa in the middle.
Fennel & Apple Salad (Serves 4)
2 fennel bulbs, finely sliced 1 red apple, chopped 1 handful raw almonds, roughly chopped 1 handful flat parsley, chopped
For the dressing 1 tbsp mayonnaise 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Mix the dressing in a salad bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and combine with the dressing.
Rebecca is a Registered Nutritional Therapist practising at the Natural Healthcare Centre in Burton. For more information visit www.nourishbalanceglow.com