Sunday, June 01, 2008

V is for Vegetable Kebabs

I read in the paper today that it's going to be a scorching June but a wet July and August. So I know that over the next month we will be dining out at ever given opportunity.
Each year we measure the success of the spring and summer by counting how many days it was warm enough to eat outdoors. As a family we are easily pleased. Like many British people we are able to adopt a stiff upper lip when it comes to the weather. We're willing to set up a picnic in a chill wind or risk trekking out into a field even though the skies are turning deep, dark grey.
The Great Big Vegetable Challenge has changed our picnicking menu. So we are sharing our V for Vegetable Kebabs with you...normally cooked on one of those instant barbecues that leave an unattractive burnt rectangle on the grass beneath. Freddie has been getting used to all these new vegetables over the last year and is now willing to enjoy something more than a sausage roll in a picnic. He scored the mixed vegetable kebabs 7 out of 10. But he has a few other Great Big Veg Challenge barbecue treats to share. Meanwhile, what is your favourite vegetable kebab - or at least your best barbecue food using vegetables? For the mixed vegetable kebabs, we used our favourite vegetables and marinated them overnight. We then waited for the sky to turn a menacing slate grey, picked up our trusty barbecue and ran outside.

Mixed Vegetable Kebabs
Serves 4

2 cobs of sweetcorn
8 cherry tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 courgettes
8 small button mushrooms
3 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to season
Wooden skewers

Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes.
Cut each sweetcorn cob into 8 pieces. Halve and deseed the peppers and cut into 2cm strips. Cut the courgettes into 2cm slices. Halve the mushrooms. Leave the cherry tomatoes whole. Make the marinade in a large bowl, mixing together the oil, garlic, fresh basil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables and mix together really well so that it is evenly coated. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge and marinade for two hours. Thread the different vegetables onto the wooden skewers. Brush with the remaining marinade. Put onto the barbecue or under a hot grill and cook for about 10-12 minutes. Turn regularly and brush with the marinade until the vegetables are gently browned and ready to eat.


  1. I love kebabs like that straight of the BBQ. Far too many people just tend to focus on the meat, neglecting the wonderful possibilities vegetables offer. One of my favourites is corn on the cob or Red Pepper and Halloumi Parcels. I haven't got the recipe for those on my blog, but I have shared it here:

  2. I second the motion, absolutely LOVE vegetable kebabs. Yours look wonderful.

  3. Your kebabs look great. I usually add chunks of red onion and aubergines too, they become wonderfully smoky. I'm surprised by the sweetcorn, does it cook in time with the rest?

  4. Great Big Veg Challenge1:50 PM

    Lizzie - it does surprisingly. Just if you make sure you cut it into nice smaller chunks - little disks of sweetcorn.
    In fact the best way to cook sweetcorn is as you probably know in its husk
    on the barbecue and it doesnt take much time.

  5. My favorite is mushroom and onion. Though maybe I'll try the corn idea this summer when we have fresh corn from the garden.

  6. Belle - Mushroom and onion sounds good too. we have mushroom and halloumi cheese instead which Freddie and Alex enjoy. Do try the corn - and you are lucky to grow it in your garden! Send us some!!

  7. What a great website! So creative. You'd make me consider going veggie for a second. One of my favorite ways to eat veggies is grilled. Roasted is a close second. Halloumi cheese is a great addition to a kabob just like the previous commentor said.

  8. Vegetable kebabs cooked on the barbecue are the way to go!

  9. Nicole8:24 AM

    This is such a brilliant way to get kids to eat vegetables. You have inspired me.

    I have posted about your successful challenge on my blog.

    My favourite kebabs are mushroom, onion and red capsicum basted with pesto.

  10. All those different veggies on sticks would intimidate most kids. Freddie, I am impressed with your broad palate.

    Charlotte - I love all the variety!

  11. I think that this is one of the best ways to eat vegetables.

  12. You mentioned cooking the corn (husk on) over the bbq. Another good vegetable to do this with is leeks. Leave the outer skin on. Cook them on the bbq until they are blackened on the outside then slit the outer skin and peel off. It gives them a fantastic sweet taste.

    They do something similar in Catalunya, Spain with calcots (like a cross between a leek and a large spring onion) and serve it with Romesco Sauce. It's always done when in season though, usually at the end of the Winter, start of Spring.

  13. Ohh mushroom and cheese sound good. I haven't seen halloumi cheese before but I bet I could find it at Whole Foods or my local cheese shop. The corn from the garden should be wonderful. You guys could always fly to Ohio to come have some!. *grin*

  14. Great Big Veg Challenge6:55 PM

    Belle - You can get it at Whole Foods in the US I think. At least a friend of mine has found it there. Or go to a store selling greek or cypriot food maybe?
    I would love to fly to Ohio and eat proper corn on the cob!!

  15. wow. this looks fabulous. i think i might need to try this on my kiddies !

  16. Great Big Veg Challenge4:49 PM

    Becky - THanks. Try it out - at least make up combinations that you know will tempt them...

  17. We love lots of veggies on the bbq and this weekend I will try out your vegetable kebabs.

  18. Great Big Veg9:54 AM

    Margaret - Do try them. Let me know what you enjoyed

  19. Your bbq vegetable kebabs look brilliant - something I know I would really enjoy!!

  20. Anonymous12:24 AM

    The best "outdoor" corn on the cob I ever had was at the Cobble Hill Fall Fair, in the Cowichan Valley area of Vancouver Island. It wasn't barbecued but was boiled in a large vat. The cobs had each had a kebab stick inserted in one end to hold it by and they were dipped in a tin of melted butter when you bought them. Best of all was that it was "peaches and cream" corn so totally delicious.

  21. Anonymous12:48 PM

    You folks should try shiitake mushrooms.

    They are fantastic on kabobs. Try to get bigger ones.


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