There is something about cooking outdoors that actvates the primal urge of those with a Y chromosome to take charge of the flame. We have recently invested in a new barbecue. Now Pierre and I have managed without a barbecue for as long as we have known each other, but I have to say whilst I am quite happy to let Monsieur fan the flame, the availability of an outside cooker has stretched our culinary imagination. We have been smoking fish, doing 10 hour lamb roasts and baking bread. The barbecue is a bit of a special one and was a bit of an investment purchase. It is called a Big Green Egg and effectively is a Thick Ceramic Egg shaped lidded barbecue, with the ability to control temperature in a similar way to the Weber but the ceramic structure seems to make it very good at holding in heat as well as keeping food moist as it grills. Having said that, this salad could be as easily made in any barbecue or in a conventional grill. It is a quick, easy recipe. It makes for a substantial side dish or would be a good vegan or paleo main with some spiced couscous.
With the sunny summer weather and a south facing wall, our herb pots have flourished and we have added chives here along with Peanut and some Eastern inspired flavours in the dressing. It started off as some ideas for Aspragus we read in one of our favourite reference books for cooking, the Flavour Thesaurus, though we added extras (chipotle chilli powder in the dressing, sweetcorn and some chives).
The cooked vegetables are of course almost too good not to eat just as they are, but trust us, it is worth it for something more special as a vegetarian barbecue dish.
- 2 corn on the cob
- 50ml olive oil
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 tablespoon Tamari soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- half teaspoon chipotle chilli powder (or hot paprika)
- Tablespoon of chopped chives
- 50g roasted unsalted peanuts
- 20 asparagus spears
- Salt pepper and a little olive oil to coat the vegetables before cooking.
- Steam the sweetcorn till the kernels are just soft
- Prepare the dressing by mixing the oil, lemon and lime juice, soy sauce and then season with sugar, salt and chilli
- Chop the peanuts and stir in the dressing.
- Coat the asparagus and corn with a smear of olive oil, some salt and pepper
- Cook the vegetables on a preheated grill or barbecue until they are browned.
- Remove the kernels of corn from the cobs using a sharp knife.
- Lay the cooked asparagus on the serving dish
- Layer the sweetcorn, peanuts and chives on the top
- Serve warm
We are adding this to Karen’s linky of cooking with herbs (over at Lavender and Lovage) since we had a liberal dose of chives.