Bring your A-game to the barbecue this year with award-winning food writer Helen Graves’ sizzling hot recipes.
Panzanella with blackened zucchini
There are two main barbecue cooking techniques you need to be aware of: direct cooking and indirect cooking. When preparing the barbecue, I almost always set it up for what is called “two-zone cooking”. This means that there is the direct zone with lit coals and the indirect zone without. There are different ways to arrange the coals to achieve this, but I often do mine the easiest way possible, which is to place the hot coals on one side, leaving the other empty.
The reasons behind this are that dual zone cooking allows you to: sear food for color and flavor before moving it to the cooler side to finish cooking more slowly; move food to cooler area if fire flares up; keep food warm on the cooler side while you finish cooking something else; or simmer something on the colder side with the lid on. Simply think of your grill as having a range of temperature zones that run horizontally: the closer to the embers, the hotter it will get. Simple.
Charred tomatoes with fresh yogurt, pomegranate molasses and herbs; Halloumi with nectarines, tarragon and basil
BUY THE BOOK
Our recipes come from Live Fire: Seasonal BBQ Recipes and Stories of Old and New Live Fire Traditions by Helen Graves (Hardie Grant, £26). To order a copy for £22.10 with free postage until May 19, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937.