Summer is finally here and with it comes BBQ season. Here in London the weather has been so glorious recently that I could live outside! Although we haven’t had the crazy heatwave the rest of Europe has been dealing with, I’ve been craving summery salads, iced coffees and lots of fruit. These skewers are easy to prepare in advance (older children can get stuck in) and taste divine. The sweet and slightly sour taste of caramelised pineapple together with the salty, smoked paprika flavoured marinade covering veggies and tofu creates a real firework of flavours and textures. Serve with any sides of your choice, I particularly like them with fresh, home-made tabouleh loaded with herbs, crunchy cucumber, sun ripened tomatoes, spring onions and a dash of lime juice.
What you need:
For the skewers:
12 long bamboo skewers
1 small red pepper – seeds removed and cut into medium size pieces
1 small yellow pepper – seeds removed and cut into medium size pieces
1 small courgette (approx. 2oog) courgette – cut into medium size cubes
1 large red onion – peeled and cut into chunks
300g pineapple (weight without peel) – cut into chunks
160g plain or smoked tofu (the firmer the better) or 200g tempeh – cut into cubes
For the marinade:
4tbps extra virgin olive oil
1tbsp lime juice
1tbsp maple syrup
1tbsp smoked paprika
½ tsp hot paprika or ground chilli
1tsp ground ginger
½ tsp garlic granules
1tbsp nutritional yeast
Salt to taste (you want it to be a touch too salty)
For the tablouleh:
Generous handful of fresh mint – roughly chopped
Generous handful of fresh flat leaf parsley – roughly chopped
½ cucumber – cut into small chunks
2-3 medium size tomatoes or approx. 15 cherry tomatoes (use a mix of yellow, orange and red for extra colour) – cut into pieces or halved if using cherry tomatoes
2-3 spring onions – finely sliced
Juice of one lime or lemon (both taste great, but for me lime is the ultimate summer flavour)
Generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Lime yogurt sauce (optional):
Like your skewers quite spicy? A drizzle of this refreshing yogurt sauce will take the edge off and bring even more summery flavours to the table.
300g unsweetened soy yogurt
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lime
Salt and black pepper to taste
How you do it:
I suggest getting all the chopping out of the way first.
Put all the veg, tofu/tempeh and pineapple chunks in a large bowl and keep it cool while you move on to the herbs, tomatoes and cucumber for your tabouleh.
Transfer the tabouleh veg-herb mix into a second bowl and keep it in the fridge for the time being.
Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the bulgur according the the instructions – once cooked transfer into a bowl and leave to cool.
If you are using the oven rather than a BBQ for your skewers preheat it now using the grill function at 200C (alternatively get someone to fire up the BBQ).
Start building your skewers adding a bit of everything to each one.
Place your skewers on a baking tray (although they can stick a little bit I find they roast better if I DON’T use any baking paper).
Thoroughly mix all ingredients for the marinade and using a brush give your skewers a generous coating leaving approx. a third of the marinade for later (you will add more during the roasting process/ once they are on the grill).
Into the oven or onto the grill they go! (They’ll need about 30mins to reach perfection, make sure to give them another brushing of marinade once or twice, but give them 15mins first).
Prepare your lime yogurt sauce by mixing yogurt, lime juice and olive oil until well combined, then season to taste and place in the fridge.
Once the bulgur is cold gently fold in herbs, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, lime juice and olive oil, then season to taste and keep somewhere cool.
Serve everyone some tabouleh, add the skewers straight from the grill and drizzle over some cooling yogurt sauce.