Tag Archives: barbecue

Bank holiday Monday: Burgers & crumble

It’s been a full-on bank holiday weekend. We have seen two of our favourite families; the Olivers on Friday night and the Osbornes Sunday night. The weather yesterday was not too bad, by British bank holiday standards, so we got out the barbecue and planned a sumptuous vegetarian feast. Now, one of the best things about spending all day cooking for friends, is that dinner the next day is always fast to prepare and delicious.

We got up to the allotment for about five hours this afternoon and left it feeling like it was finally looking not too bad for May. We emptied the loam from the wooden compost area, filled it with manure to rot down, got the runners and broad beans into the bean bed, got the red onion sets in and transplanted the parsnips, wired the raspberry bed posts even higher, attached the guttering that fell of the shed to the polytunnel frame and had a fire! Okay, stuff that should have mostly been done in March, but at least we have some greenery in some of the beds now. Late May allotment

The strawberries are fully in flower, and we have some ripening in the polytunnel, the raspberry flowers are developing and the rhubarb is looking plump. So we cut some off to bring home for crumble. Burgers and crumble not a classic combination, but so quick, simple and fresh tasting.

Menu: Carrot and chickpea burgers and Rhubarb crumble. The burger mix, pitta breads, bulgur wheat salad and tikka marinated vegetable skewers were left over from yesterday’s dinner.

The vegetables were cooked as a curry and served with the bulgur instead of rice, and the burgers were fried on the hob – much faster than trying to barbecue although they suit the char-grilled taste well.

Carrot & Chickpea burgers:

  • 750g carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • zest 1 lemon, plus 1 tsp juice
  • 150ml pot natural (or soya) yogurt

Based on the bbc good food recipe –

  1. Put 1/3 grated carrot in a food processor with the chickpeas, onion, 2 tbsp tahini, cumin and egg. Whizz to a thick paste, then scrape into a large bowl. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan, tip in the remaining carrot and cook for 8-10 mins, stirring until the carrot is softened – it will become more golden as it is cooked. Add this cooked carrot to the whizzed paste with the breadcrumbs and lemon zest. Add seasoning, then mix together well with your hands.
  2. Divide the mixture and shape into burgers (we got around 12 small burgers from this quantity). Cover and chill until serving. Mix the yogurt with the remaining tahini and lemon juice, then chill.
  3. Fire up the barbecue, or heat a non-stick frying pan and brush the burgers with the remaining oil. Cook the burgers for 5 mins on each side, until golden and crisp. We served with pitta breads straight from the oven.

Pittas served with burgers. Carrot and chickpea burgers.

While the burgers were in the pan, the rhubarb was washed, chopped and put on the hob. It was not too long a wait for piping hot crumble, again, courtesy of a quick search on the BBC good food website.

Rhubarb oat crumble:

  • 500g rhubarb, chopped into chunks the length of your thumb
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 50g oats
  • 85g butter, chilled (or vegan equivalent, like Pure)
  • 50g light brown muscovado sugar


  1. Tip the rhubarb into a saucepan with the sugar. Cover and simmer on a very low heat for 15 mins. When soft and sweet enough, pour the rhubarb into a medium baking dish.
  2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. To make the topping, rub the flour and butter together until you have a soft, crumbly topping. Then add the sugar and oats, mixing together by hand or machine. Spread the topping over the rhubarb and bake for 30 mins or until golden brown on top.

Cooking rhubarb.   Mixing the crumble.   Crumble out of the oven.

Rhubarb oat crumble.

We served with a spot of Alpro soya cream.

A delicious end to a wonderful weekend full of friends, laughter, fresh air and good food.


My new favourite dish

Damian decided we needed a proper barbecue so we could best enjoy our newly reorganised space outside. After looking into the differences between gas and charcoal, we decided a charcoal model would probably work out best for us. We won’t have that many opportunities throughout the year as nice weather and weekends don’t often coincide in Yorkshire. We went for a Weber kettle drum, a classic design.

We noticed some rather nice accessories for the Weber barbecues, and we decided to get the pizza stone. It’s made from Danish blue granite, and it will be fine in our gas oven too.

Two nights ago, we fired up the barbecue, made some pizza dough and Damian crafted a pizza for us. It took a long time to cook, but that may have been down to the charcoal not burning evenly (I think we need to experiment with different types) but I have to say, it was worth the wait as it tasted phenomenal. It took me straight back to the open air restaurant in a Frascati piazza Dad took me and my sister to, where the pizzas were served straight from their outdoor wood fire ovens. It’s not just the smoky flavour to the dough, it somehow seems to accentuate the individual flavours in the topping too.

I can’t wait until the next time we have a warm evening to try it again.

Pizza barbecued on the pizza stone
Pizza barbecued on the pizza stone

It’s cheating a little bit posting this here as we haven’t grown any of these ingredients! We use organic stoneground bread flour to make our bread and dough, an organic tomato sauce, such as Seeds of Change (if we have no time to make our own), organic baby spinach, and Italian cherry tomatoes. We also dotted pieces of goat’s cheese on this one. We would normally use lashings of basil too, but they had sold out in town and we haven’t sown ours yet. We served with rocket.