Hot sun, cool drinks and something cooking on the grill: It doesn’t get much better than that.
But grills are about a lot more than just burgers and steaks. To truly take advantage of warm weather, make sure you also give your starters and desserts the barbecue treatment.
Start with succulent grilled eggplant. This recipe calls for the eggplant to be sliced, grilled and rolled up around a generous amount of feta cheese and tomato. Note that eggplant soaks up oil like a sponge, so if you’re watching your calories, go easy on the oil when you’re brushing it on.
Beef isn’t the only kind of burger around. Channel the classic flavours of a Cobb salad with this Cobb-style chicken with avocado spread topped with crispy bacon and flavourful roquefort cheese. If you aren’t sure if your avocados are ripe, try prying the stem gently. If it pops off easily and you can see green beneath, it’s ripe!
And channel the flavours of a campfire with delightfully chewy s’mores chocolate chip cookies, stuffed with marshmallow and chocolate. No, you can’t really make these on the grill, but visit 20minutesupperclub.com/metro to find these recipes plus an incredible barbecue dessert called Plankies — created by Ted Reader, it features Twinkies and nutella. -
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
Recipe Developer: Kirsten Ernst, Vancouver, B.C.
• 1 large eggplant
• 1 cup feta cheese
• Juice of 1/2 - 1 lemon (to taste)
• 1 tomato, seeded, and diced
• 1/2 or 1 small red chili, seeded, and finely sliced (to taste)
• 1/2 cup mint, chopped (reserve small amount to sprinkle on top for garnish)
• Olive oil
• Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat barbecue. Slice eggplant, lengthwise, about ¼-inch thick. Rub olive oil on each piece, both sides. Grill slices on barbecue, marking with crisscrosses, until just tender. Place slices on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Let cool. In bowl, combine crumbled feta cheese with lemon juice to taste, tomatoes, mint, salt and pepper to taste.
2. On each slice of eggplant, put approx. 1/4 cup of feta mixture, and roll up. Put all rolled slices in a row on platter. 3. Sprinkle top with reserved chopped mint.
Cobb Style Chicken with Avocado Spread
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Recipe Developer: Paula Bowman
• 8 slices bacon
• 1 1/2 lb ground chicken
• 1/4 cup finely diced onion
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped watercress leaves, plus extra sprigs for garnish
• 2 Tbsp crumbled roquefort cheese, plus more for garnish, if desired
• 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
• 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for avocado mixture
• 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
• 1 avocado, peeled and pit removed
• 1 Tbsp lemon juice
• 1/4 tsp minced garlic
• 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for grilling
• 4 hamburger buns
• 1 tomato, cut into 4 slices
- 1. Preheat a grill to high.
- 2. In a non-stick skillet, set over high heat, cook bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- 3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine chicken, onion, watercress leaves, cheese, mustard, salt and Worcestershire and mix gently. With lightly oiled or wet hands, form mixture into 4 (6oz) burgers, about 3/4-inch thick, and set aside.
- 4. In the small bowl of a food processor, combine avocado, lemon juice and garlic and process until smooth. With the motor running, add oil and process until combined; season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside. 5. Lightly brush both sides of burgers with olive oil and place burgers on hot grill. Cook, flipping once until cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Place buns on grill and lightly toast on both sides, about 1 minute and set aside.
- 6. To assemble burgers, divide avocado mixture among bottom half of each bun and spread evenly. Top with chicken burgers followed by bacon, tomato, watercress sprigs, Roquefort if desired, and cover with remaining buns.
S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 38 cookies
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
Recipe Developer: Rhiannon Banda-Scott
• 11/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup graham crackers smashed into tiny pieces
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 dash cinnamon
• 1 dash nutmeg
• 1 cup softened unsalted butter
• 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 1 tsp real vanilla extract
seeds from one vanilla bean
• 2 large eggs at room temperature
• 1 3/4 cups chocolate chunks
• 2 cups mini marshmallows
• 1 – 2 Hershey Milk chocolate bars, in pieces
- 1. Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and stir until combined. Beat together butter, sugars and vanilla extract in a larger bowl until creamy and smooth. Add in your eggs, blending on medium speed until fully incorporated.
- 2. Beat in the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating on medium speed until combined well. Pour in the chocolate chips and stir with a spoon. Covering your hands on a bit of flour, roll 1 – 2 tablespoons worth of dough into a ball and place on the parchment paper. You may be able to fit only 9 cookies on one baking sheet.
- 3. Bake for 4 minutes in a preheated oven and remove from heat. Place as many marshmallows and Hershey chocolate chunks into each cookie before returning to the oven to bake. Continuing baking for approximately 4. more minutes or until the marshmallows start to puff out slightly. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes until cooling completely on a wire rack. Keep covered in an airtight container for up to three days.