Thursday, July 18, 2024
    HomeLifeThe smell of smoke is in the air

    The smell of smoke is in the air


    It’s time to pursue our favorite summer culinary hobby: grilling. After all, over 39 percent of consumers in Germany go to the barbecue every two weeks during the season. British chef Katy Beskow shows that vegans don’t have to miss out.

    To grill or not to grill – that is not the question at all! The grill is fired up about 1.6 times a year in Germany. And since only die-hards are keen on winter barbecues, the majority of smoking events are likely to be concentrated in the summer months: So now. It’s high time to think about what to put on the grill.

    Marinated Antipasti_c_Luke Albert.jpg

    This side dish with a lot of spicy smoke flavor also makes non-vegans happy.

    (Photo: Luke Albert)

    Germany is the grill world champion – in Europe. 300,000 years ago our ancestors were already gardening their hunted prey over an open fire: meat. And because barbecuing on an open fire is such a ancestral thing with the enticing scent of boundless freedom, there are still more men (81 percent) than women at the grill in this country. But at least 69 percent of grillers scrub the device afterwards. This gives hope for further evolution …

    You see, I’ve found quite a bit of statistical data on crickets. What I didn’t find: How many women love waiting at the grill just because they love their husbands, but less so that they smell smoked and grilled afterwards? And how many of them even find the charred sausages and steaks grilled to the soles of shoes “delicious”? All just out of love for the grilling man!


    The British food author Katy Beskow has a variety of varied vegan grill recipes ready.

    (Photo: Luke Albert)

    Although we mostly only hunt in the supermarket these days, it is obviously still very genetic, namely at the meat counter and not on the vegetable aisle. Meat still ends up on the grill today: 71 percent of Germans prefer grilled steaks and sausages. Now the man at the grill could take revenge on his sweetheart and put something new on the grill – don’t you agree? After all, grilled cheese with 33 percent and vegetable skewers with 31 percent are already gaining ground in terms of consumer taste. Vegans still find it difficult to get their money’s worth when grilling. Which is perhaps also due to the fact that we can’t think of anything creative apart from corn on the cob and paprika and mushroom skewers. Here’s a fix!

    Our stars on the grill

    British chef Katy Beskow shows us that vegans don’t have to miss out on the grill either. Incidentally, in the UK, 25 percent of grillers are women. Katy Beskow’s latest cookbook “Vegan vom Grill” has main dishes, desserts, clever side dishes and numerous tips and tricks ready for you. The handy hardcover edition was published by ars vivendi. Beskow’s recipes thrive on simple and mostly few ingredients that are available in every supermarket. She has little time for substitute products, with her fresh fruit and vegetables are the stars on the grill.

    Katy Beskow herself has been vegan for over ten years and never tires of creating new recipes. She has already proven her expertise in cookbooks such as the standard vegan work “Einfach vegan” or “Vegan Express”, “Every day vegan” and “Vegan aus dem Oven”. The award-winning chef, author and cooking teacher lives in rural Yorkshire and also runs her own blog.

    Hot tips for the next barbecue party

    Grilled Watermelon_c_Luke Albert.jpg

    Grilled watermelon with green Thai curry: Katy Beskow serves this with nutty rice salad and sticky broccoli.

    (Photo: Luke Albert)

    “Vegan from the grill” encourages people to really use the grill this year. The smoky aromas and the special cooking method round off some dishes in a very special way. However, simple ingredients and uncomplicated preparations do not mean that the recipes are unimaginative – on the contrary. Some of the dishes from the book are bragging rights: Grilled watermelon with Thai green curry, Caribbean cauliflower “steaks” with pineapple and black bean salsa, Grilled lemon cake with limoncello cream and pistachios – just to name a few of the exotic-looking dishes. Katy Beskow has a special help for vegan inexperienced people: vegan barbecue menus. The menus each follow a specific theme and make planning easier. There are ten menu suggestions, so every taste is catered for.

    The book has four chapters of recipes: Grilled; barbecue side dishes; Salads & Extras; Sweet temptations. You can also brush up on barbecue basics with advice on grill types and charcoals, temperatures, accessories, etc. Katy Beskow also shares shopping tips for her favorite ingredients. Each recipe has a “hot tip” that will help you get the most out of the ingredients.

    Marinated antipasti

    You can turn the seasonal delicacies of summer into vegetable antipasti yourself. Serve with warm bread, olives and balsamic vinegar or salt-crusted baked potatoes (see p. 82). Or you can fill the mixture into clean glasses and give them away to friends and family.

    Use a good quality fruity extra virgin olive oil.

    Ingredients for 6 people

    6 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
    1 pinch dried herb mix
    Sea salt and black pepper from the mill
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
    1 green bell pepper, seeded and quartered
    1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and quartered
    1 zucchini, cut diagonally into thick slices
    200 g vine tomatoes (on the vine)
    1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    2 garlic cloves, crushed


    Barbecue cooking temperature: medium-high heat

    1. Mix the olive oil, thyme, herb mixture, ½(tsp salt and a good pinch of pepper in a large bowl. Brush the vegetables with some herb oil.

    Set aside the remaining oil in the bowl.

    2. Place the peppers, zucchini and tomatoes on the hot grid and grill for 3 to 5 minutes on each side until tender and streaks appear.

    3. Put the cooked vegetables in the bowl with the herb oil. Drizzle with more olive oil, add apple cider vinegar and garlic cloves and mix well. Leave for at least 1 hour – and you already have super fine antipasti.

    Hot tip: After grilling, the vegetables are full of unbeatable smoke aromas. However, if you want to cook ahead of time, you can place a griddle pan on the stove and sear the vegetables on both sides until streaked and tender.

    Smoky paella with giant beans and olives

    Paella_c_Luke Albert.jpg

    A paella is always good for a convivial barbecue.

    (Photo: Luke Albert)

    The grill is ideal for paella, as you can roast the vegetables first at high heat before the temperature drops and the rice can absorb the saffron broth. This is how a wonderful summery dish is created in good company.

    Grab a deep stainless steel paella pan and the freshest ingredients you can find. I love the tender giant Spanish beans (lima beans) used in this recipe. Look for good quality saffron, which will add a delicious honey aroma to the dish. Serve with a refreshing glass of sangria (see p. 148).

    ingredients for 4 persons

    1 pinch of saffron threads
    800 ml hot vegetable stock
    6 mini peppers (different colors)
    1 zucchini, sliced
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 unwaxed lemon, halved
    1 onion, finely chopped
    3 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 tsp smoked paprika powder
    1 tsp dried oregano
    300 g bomba paella rice
    400 g giant beans (from a jar or can), rinsed and drained
    8 pitted green olives, cut into rings
    1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, freshly chopped
    1 small handful of dill sprigs, freshly chopped


    Barbecue cooking temperature: high heat

    1. Stir the saffron into the hot vegetable broth in a jug and let it steep.

    2. Mix the peppers and zucchini with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a bowl.

    Place the vegetables with the lemon halves on the hot grid and grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until roasted stripes form. Set aside in a bowl.

    3. Drizzle the remaining olive oil into a wrought iron paella pan (30 cm Ø; see p. 19) and place the pan on the grill. Add the onion to the hot oil and sauté until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

    4. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, and oregano and cook, stirring frequently, until flavored, 3 to 5 minutes more.

    5. Stir in the rice and fold in well for a few minutes. Then pour in half of the saffron broth. Cover the pan with aluminum foil or put the lid on the grill. Grill for 15 to 20 minutes, until most of the broth has been absorbed. Add the remaining broth and jumbo beans and cook for another 10 minutes until the broth has absorbed.

    6. Spread the vegetables on top and squeeze the lemon halves over them. Garnish with olives, parsley and dill. Season with a pinch of salt, remove from the grill and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before eating.

    Hot Tip: Prepare all the ingredients before you start grilling. So you can easily put the paella together outside.

    Heidi Driesner wishes you lots of success at the grill.

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