• Charred nectarine and panettone (Benito Martin)Source: Benito Martin
The grill isn't just a place for meat - BBQing fruit and vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and juiciness, as well as giving them a smouldering appeal.
18 Jan 2021 - 8:37 AM  UPDATED 20 Jan 2021 - 2:03 PM

1. Charred leeks with romesco sauce

This dish wins on the novelty and flavour fronts: sweet grilled whole leeks dipped in a creamy roasted red pepper and almond-based dip.

2. Lebanese cucumber, watermelon & haloumi salad

Grilling watermelon softens it's flavour while keeping it sweet and refreshing. It's a natural pairing for salty haloumi (aka squeaky cheese) and this assortment of bold Greek flavours. 

3. Charred nectarine and panettone with crème fraîche

Grilling nectarines on a scorchingly hot grill turns them into caramelised, sunny-tasting morsels that work with both savoury and sweet dishes. 

4. Charred radicchio and freekeh salad

This is hearty salad is layered in texture and flavour. The star is the grilled radicchio, which takes on a deeper flavour, and with crisp edges that deliciously soak up any dressing - in this case, syrupy balsamic vinegar and peppery olive oil. 

5. Barbecued avocado with herb labneh salad

The nuttiness of the avocado shines through when grilled, which works well with the tart labneh and piles of fragrant mixed herbs in this dish. It's sure to turn even the staunchest hot-avocado sceptic. 

6. Grilled chilli and cinnamon pineapple

This booze-soaked, Brazilian-flavoured pineapple may become your new BBQ staple. Sweet, spicy, limey, lively and super easy. 

7. Charred cos, kalamata olives and tomato

Grilling lettuce may sound weird, but trust the Italians and Spanish on this one - it brings out the sweetness and gives it a charred edge. This dish would make a perfect summer appetiser or side dish.

8. Peach, lavender and frisee salad

Celebrate the sweet and golden flavour of peaches by grilling them until darkly golden then combining them in a salad with peppery frisee, aromatic lavender, and a mustard-based dressing. Wow.

9. Charred carrot salad with sorrel, macadamia and herb vinaigrette

A modern Australian tasting arrangement which just involves grilling carrots, making a dressing, and combining all ingredients. Little work for a lot of flavour. 

10. Red cabbage cream with charred green cabbage

Give your dishes chef appeal with this pretty violet-hued red cabbage puree. Here's it's paired with crisp, charry cabbage but would work well with grilled fish, lamb, chicken and other meat.

11. Charcoal-grilled broccolini with shallot oil and lemon

Shallot oil boosts this already stellar side to new flavour heights. Hot tip: double the oil quantity and keep it to add to dressings for added savoury depth.  

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More grilled goodness
Charred watermelon with mozzarella and mint

This is a quick and easy dish that would be an ideal side for a barbeque lunch. It’s oily and juicy, perfect messy eating. As you char the watermelon, its flavour mellows and deepens but it still remains crunchy enough to give textural contrast to the soft oozy mozzarella.

Chargrilled vegetables with zucchini hummus, pine nuts and mint

Zucchini hummus is a fresher, lighter alternative to the chickpea variety and only takes a few minutes to prepare. Use as a base for vegetables, as a spread for sandwiches or as a dip. Adjust the flavour with different spices and eat within two days.

Charred Japanese eggplant with garlic and sesame

Slightly Japanese in style, this dish highlights eggplant’s subtle flavour with charry smokiness and some sharp vinegar. The sesame gives crunch at the end but also adds a creaminess from the tahini. This should be served barely warm, perfect for a summer starter or side dish.

Charred fennel and carrots with fresh herbs

Good-quality carrots and fennel taste even better when lightly caramelised, especially over a fire so they pick up the smokiness of the wood. You can roast or grill them inside for a decent (but not quite as lively) end result.

This is a side dish.