Vegie Chrissie Barbie


Before you read any further, let’s clear up any potential confusion. To all my non-Australian readers: Barbie does not refer to the ubiquitous doll of the same name, nor to Klaus Barbie, the infamous Nazi war criminal. And a Chrissie is of course an Australian Christmas.

The Barbie (note the capitalisation) is one of the most revered Australian icons, along with a Hills HoistFostersThongs and Vegemite.

Yes, the Barbie is a barbecue, or BBQ for short. For those that spend a moment to reflect, it’s the ultimate crematorium for tens of thousands of poor animals.

So what’s a vegetarian to do when he’s invited to a Barbie? There are, in fact, many nice vegetarian Barbie options. I was once invited to a Barbie, and my hosts asked me to send some recipes ahead so they could buy the ingredients. They even purchased a brand new Weber just for the occasion. Here are those recipes:


Barbecued Haloumi and Char-grilled Asparagus with Salsa Verde

Salsa verde simply means green sauce – there are hundreds of versions. This one, smothered over slabs of barbecued haloumi cheese and grilled juicy asparagus, is made from the “big three” – parsley, mint and basil. It’s perked up with a smattering of capers. Serves 4 as an entree.

16 spears of asparagus, about 2 bunches, trimmed,
4 bamboo skewers, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes,
400g (14 ounces) haloumi cheese, thickly sliced,
olive oil.

Salsa Verde 
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped,
½ cup mint leaves, finely chopped,
½ cup basil leaves, finely chopped,
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed drained and chopped
¼ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder
2/3 cup olive oil,
¼ cup lemon juice,
salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all the salsa verde ingredients in a bowl.

Thread 4 asparagus spears onto each skewer.

Brush the asparagus and haloumi generously with olive oil.

Barbecue the asparagus for 2 minutes each side, or until just tender.

Barbecue the haloumi on a hot plate for 2 minutes each side, or until golden.

Serve: slide the asparagus off its skewers, place a large spoonful of salsa verde onto 4 plates and top with asparagus and haloumi. Pass the remaining salsa separately.


Trio of Roasted, Grilled & Barbecued Vegetables

Potatoes, pumpkin and sweet potatoes are all suitable for oven roasting, grilling or barbecuing over hot coals, either directly or wrapped in foil. Whichever way you choose, the accompanying pesto, salsa and chutney transform these earthy vegetables into something very special.


Idaho Potatoes with Parsley Pesto

Parley pesto is nutty, green and luscious – a perfect foil for creamy hot potato.

1 cup flat-leaf parsley,
½ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg,
¼ cup toasted almonds,
1 tablespoon lemon juice,
½ teaspoon salt,
2 tablespoons olive oil,
1 kilo (2 pounds) Idaho baking potatoes, roasted, grilled or barbecued.

Combine all the pesto ingredients except the oil in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil. When well amalgamated, remove and serve. Add a few drops of water if the mixture is too thick.

Serve with the roasted potatoes. Serves 4.

fresh parsley:

Pumpkin with Mango Salsa

A brilliantly zesty accompaniment featuring sweet, sour, hot and aromatic flavours.

1 large ripe mango cut into small cubes,
½ cup diced, unpeeled cucumber,
¼ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder,
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves,
1 teaspoon finely shredded fresh red chilies,
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice,
1 teaspoon salt,
1 teaspoon black pepper,
1 kilo (2 pounds) pumpkin pieces, trimmed and cut into suitable chunks, roasted, grilled or barbecued.

Combine all the salsa ingredients and allow flavours to combine for a few minutes.

Serve with the roasted pumpkins. Serves 4.


White Sweet Potato with Fresh Corn Chutney

The brilliant corn chutney has become one of my favourites. It marries perfectly with sweet potato, its South American partner from ages past. Best consumed the day it’s made.

2 cups cooked fresh corn kernels, or 2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed,
1½ cups firmly packed coriander leaves, coarsely chopped,
¼ cup packed fresh mint,
1 small hot green chili, coarsely chopped,
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger,
1 teaspoon sugar,
1 teaspoon salt,
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,
juice of 1 large lime,
little water if needed,
1 kilo (2 pounds) scrubbed un-peeled white sweet potatoes, roasted, grilled or barbecued.

Process all the chutney ingredients in a food processor, pulsing on and off until the mixture is slightly chunky and loose textured. Add a little water if the mixture is too firm. Remove.

Serve immediately with the sweet potato, or cover and refrigerate. Serves 4.


Posted by Kurma on 20/12/10; 9:01:48 AM

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