Veggie, pescatarian or committed carnivore? There’s a killer barbecue recipe, no matter your culinary persuasion.

The barbecue is, now and forevermore, the culinary symbol of summer everywhere. And while, in this country, you never quite know whether you’ll be serving up your planned grilling extravaganza with a side order of biblical rain, the meteorological jeopardy almost adds to the charm, akin somehow to rain stopping play at Wimbledon or eating sandy cheese sandwiches huddled under a brolly on the beach in August while being bothered by wasps.

The good news is that, as so many more of us choose to limit or eschew meat completely, there is plenty of tasty summer barbeque fun to be had, even if you don’t fancy devouring the traditional hotdog. Here we pick three of our favourite recipes to suit all tastes – simply serve with a big hearty salad and a glass of something very cold.

Barbecued Marinated Mackerel

Le Champignon Sauvage

David Everitt-Matthias’ Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham is the stuff of food legend. Critic Jay Rayner wrote of his lunch there that it was what he ‘considered to be one of the best meals of my life.’ If there’s anyone we’d trust to wield the grilling tongs, then, it is chef Everitt-Matthias. Of his exceptionally lovely barbecued marinated mackerel, he says, ‘This marinade is loosely based on Chermoulah, a spicy paste used in Moroccan cooking and is one of my favourite marinades for fish. It goes very well with oily fish, like the mackerel used here, as well as thick meaty fish such as cod and pollock. Served alongside the grilled vegetable and mozzarella salad, well, I can’t think of a more perfect meal.’ Nor can we.

4-6 medium mackerel, gutted and cleaned
Maldon Salt

100g Olive oil
50g Peeled shallots, roughly chopped
30g Fresh coriander, roughly chopped
25g Fresh flat leaved parsley, roughly chopped
30g Lemon juice
5g Fresh mint
3 Cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3g Coriander seeds
3g Cumin seeds
1g Black peppercorns
1/2 Dried chilli
½ Lemon zested
Salt and pepper


1) Place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black peppercorns in a small frying pan and dry roast on the top of the stove over a moderate heat until fragrant. Cool.

2) Place all the ingredients for the marinade and a blender and blend until smooth. Place in a jar in the fridge until needed.

3) Cut each side of the mackerel 5 times, not quite to the bone. Salt with the Maldon salt and put aside for 5 minutes. Massage the marinade into the fish.

4) Cook the mackerel for approximately 5 minutes on each side until the fish is charred and just cooked.

5) Drizzle any leftover marinade over the fish and allow to stand 2-3 minutes before serving. Re seasoning.

6) Either serve alongside the marinated vegetable salad, or flake in a bowl and mix with the salad and serve drizzled with the dressing.

Beetroot and Halloumi Sliders With Chilli Jam

Olive Magazine

There is no need to forego a burger just because you choose to forego meat. They are, after all, a classic staple of the barbecue. Lulu Grimes’ version for Olive Magazine features chickpeas, halloumi, beetroot and chilli jam for an entirely delicious and unapologetic meat-free burger.

400g Chickpeas tin, rinsed and drained
1 tsp Ground cumin
1-2 Hot green chilli, finely chopped
250g Raw beetroot, peeled and grated (wear gloves to avoid staining your hands)
2 tbsp Parsley, chopped
50g Fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 Egg
Olive oil
4 or 6 slices halloumi, each halved
A handful of rocket
8 or 12 Small buns (brioche if you can get them), split and cut side toasted
Chilli jam to serve

1) Put the chickpeas in a bowl and mash them roughly, add the cumin and chilli and mash again. Add the beetroot, parsley, breadcrumbs and egg and plenty of seasoning. Mix well and form into 8 or 12 small patties.

2) Heat about 1 cm of oil in a frying pan and fry the patties on each side until they are crisp and brown. Drain on kitchen paper. Fry the halloumi briefly until it starts to brown a little. Put a few rocket leaves on the base of each bun, add a patty and a slice of halloumi followed by a spoon of chilli jam then put the lid on. A cocktail stick will hold the lot together. Serve 2 or 3 per person. Click to find the recipe here.

Barbecue Ribs

Jamie Oliver

For carnivores, sausages and burgers are the classic staples that no barbecue should ever be without. But if you really want to impress, these deliciously sticky ribs are a great choice. We love Jamie’s simple recipe – though do note, they do take almost two hours to prepare. Sticky fingers ahoy.

Olive oil
2 Racks of higher-welfare pork loin back ribs (about 1.6kg)

1 Fresh red chilli
1 Thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 Cloves of garlic
150 ml Unsweetened apple juice
100 ml White wine vinegar
2 Heaped tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
100 ml Low-salt soy sauce
100 g Soft brown sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6. Preheat your barbecue.

2) Drizzle a little oil over the ribs, season with sea salt and black pepper and rub all over to coat.

3) Make the marinade. Deseed and finely chop the chilli, peel and grate the ginger and garlic then place them all in a medium pan along with the apple juice, white wine vinegar, tomato ketchup, mustard, soy sauce and brown sugar.

4) Whisk the ingredients together and place the pan over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

5) Put the ribs in a large roasting pan, brush with the marinade and cover with foil.

6) Cook in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the meat pulls away from the bone easily. Baste the ribs with the marinade after 30 minutes. After 1 hour of cooking time remove the foil, baste and cook, uncovered, for the final 15 minutes, basting halfway through.

7) Once your barbecue is hot, transfer the ribs to it. Cook over a medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

8) Transfer the ribs to a board and cut them up. Serve with handfuls of rocket and watercress, if you like. Click here to find the recipe.

By Nancy Alsop
July 2021

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.