I am a barbecue snob. I’m not happy or indeed impressed by a few burgers and a sausage or two. Add to that a pack of pre bought coleslaw and whilst it’s a little better, I’m still a bit disappointed. Maybe I’m in the minority, but for me barbecues are made by the sides. The salads, the salsas, the dips, the cocktails, the relishes and the breads. Oh and the beer, the cold beer adorned with wedges of lime. I do love sausages, kebabs and burgers (especially burgers when stuffed with blue cheese) but they’re nothing without their pals.
And the key to a good barbecue side dish? Make it ahead. Don’t stress out on the day trying to be superwoman or man in the kitchen. Have it all pre-prepped and then you can don a hat, an apron, brandish those tongs and stay by the fire. Beer in hand.
Three years ago: Banana and custard melts
Roasted cauliflower, cumin & bulgar wheat salad
Makes enough for 4 as a main or 8 or more as a side
- 1 x small head of cauliflower, cut into 3 – 4cm florets
- 3 tbsp groundnut/vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 200g bulgar wheat
- 20g fresh coriander
Turn the oven onto 200C/gas mark 6. Mix the cauliflower, oil, cumin, pepper and salt together in a large roasting tray. Roast for 20 minutes until the cauliflower has started to colour and a knife easily passes through the stalks. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Meanwhile boil the bulgar wheat according to the packet instructions then drain and mix with the cauliflower in the roasting tin. Leave to cool or serve warm with chopped fresh coriander.
Photography by Minal Photography.