Summer barbecue recipes for delightful alfresco dining

Generous platters bursting with seasonal flavours make this vibrant high-summer barbecue menu perfect for informal, convivial meals in the garden with family and friends.

Indulge in the art of sharing with our delightful summer barbecue menu – just in time for the warmer weather with these barbecue recipes.

See ourPizza recipes for a slice of summer

Set the scene for your summer barbecue

For comfort, choose a table generous enough to easily accommodate all of the sharing dishes while leaving plenty of room for guests. Pretty votives and strings oflights add a celebratory touch and ensure this leisurely feast can continue well into the evening.

barbecue recipes

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Evoke a relaxed mood by using a serving table as a bar –keeping it well stocked with wine and other tipples –and encourage guests to help themselves when they please.

barbecue recipes

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Against the simplicity of a crisp white tabletop and understated artisan ceramics, add pops of pink, blue and grey with colourful hand-painted napkins, loosely tied with a length of leather thong. Introducing woven place mats and sprigs of foliage will help to create a charming, natural look.

barbecue recipes

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Position the barbecue close enough to keep an eye on without abandoning your guests and also downwind so they are not engulfed in smoke.

barbecue recipes

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THE MENU

This month, our menu celebrates the British summer in all its glory. Our dishes make the most of seasonal produce and involve minimal preparation, so you can spend more time with your guests. Lunch is an array of colours and textures, from the figgy baked ricotta that can be served as a starter to the barbecued leg of lamb and sweet-savoury salad. Finish with a summertime favourite, a delicious fruity meringue.

APERITIFWhite wine sangria TO STARTBaked ricotta with honey & figs MAINBritish style ceviche; nectarine salad; roast root salad with crispy red rice; barbecued lamb & bulgur wheat salad DESSERTMeringue with cherry & apricot compote

WHITE WINE SANGRIA

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Serves 6-8

Swapping red wine for crisp white makes a refreshing twist on this summer favourite.

6 apricots, chopped and stoned100g golden caster sugar2 lemons Crushed ice1 lime2 ripe peaches1 bottle crisp white wine, such as Riesling or Chablis300ml soda

1. Put the apricots in a medium pan with the sugar, 100ml water and the zest and juice of l lemon. 2. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the fruit starts to break down. Leave to cool a little. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. 3. Fill two jugs with ice. Slice the other lemon, lime and peaches, then add to the jugs with the wine and apricot pulp. Top up with soda to taste and serve.

BAKED RICOTTA WITH HONEY & FIGS

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Serves 6-8

3 whole ricottas, 250g each8 figsSalt and ground black pepperMedium bunch oregano2 tbsp runny honey3 garlic cloves, peeled100ml olive oil, plus extra to drizzle100g toasted hazelnuts1 loaf sourdough bread, sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and turn the ricottas out onto the tray. 2. Cut the figs in half and scatter over the ricotta, then season well. Bake for 20 minutes, until starting to turn golden. 3. Meanwhile, mix together the oregano leaves, honey, 2 cloves crushed garlic and the olive oil. Roughly chop the hazelnuts. 4. Put a large griddle pan on the highest heat and char the bread for a couple of minutes on each side. Cut the remaining garlic clove in half and rub on one side of each bread slice, then drizzle with olive oil. 5. Remove the ricotta from the oven, spoon over the oregano mixture and scatter with the hazelnuts. Serve on the tray alongside the sourdough toast.

BRITISH STYLE CEVICHE

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Serves 8

This light dish makes the most of British summer produce. It can be made well in advance and kept in the fridge until ready to serve.

300g skinned cod fillets8 large scallopsSalt and ground black pepper3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzleZest and juice of 1 lemon200g ciabatta3 garlic cloves, peeled½ bunch radishes, trimmed3 red or green tomatoes2 green chillies½ small bunch parsley½ small bunch chervil

1. Chop the cod into 1cm chunks and slice the scallops into thin rounds, discarding the roe. 2. Transfer to a large bowl, season then drizzle with a little olive oil. Add the zests of the lemon and one lime along with the juice of the lemon and two limes. Toss together, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. 3. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Tear the ciabatta into 3cm chunks and scatter over a large baking tray. In a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic with the olive oil, then toss with the bread. Season well then pop in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden, tossing halfway through. 4. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, thinly slice the radishes and place in a bowl of iced water for 10 minutes. 5. Chop the tomatoes, chillies and herbs, then stir through the marinated fish. Arrange on a plate, topped with the radishes and croutons. Serve at once.

NECTARINE SALAD

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Serves 6-8

Charred nectarines are extra sweet and juicy.

200g pancetta6 ripe nectarines1 cucumberZest and juice of 1 lemon1 red chilli, finely slicedSalt and ground black pepper200g green beans1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped1 tbsp Dijon mustard1 tsp honeySmall bunch tarragon, chopped50ml rose wine50ml olive oil½ medium bunch mint leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and lay the pancetta on it. Bake for 15 minutes until crisp. 2. Heat a large griddle pan overa high heat. Halve, stone and quarter the nectarines. Char on the griddle a for a couple of minutes on each side, then transfer to a large platter. 3. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon. Cut into 2cm half moons. Char on each side on the griddle, then transfer to a bowl. Grate in the zest of the lemon, then stir through the chilli and season. 4. Griddle the green beans for 4 minutes, turning occasionally. 5. Mix together the shallot, juice of the lemon, mustard, honey and tarragon. Stir in the rose wine, then slowly whisk in the olive oil, until well combined. Season the dressing to taste. 6. Scatter the charred vegetables over the nectarines on the platter. Crumble over the pancetta, then spoon over the dressing. Scatter with the mint leaves and serve.

ROAST ROOT SALAD WITH CRISPY RED RICE

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Serves 6-8

Look out for candy beetroot, a sweet variety with appealing pink and white stripes.

150g red rice1 bunch baby carrots1 tbsp honey½ tsp cumin Sea saltZest and juice of I lemon2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle3 candy beetroots, peeled½ kohlrabi, peeled 1 fennel bulb1 tbsp tahini4 tbsp yogurt1 tsp sumacHandful of pea shootsSmall bunch mint leaves, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 20 0°C, gas mark 6. Cook the red rice according to the instructions, then drain and rinse under cold water. Spread out on kitchen paper to dry. 2. Scrub the carrots and trim, leaving a short stalk. then spread out on a baking tray. 3. Mix the honey, cumin , salt and lemon zest with 2 tbsp oil. Toss through the carrots , then bake for 30 minutes. turning every 10 minutes. until golden and slightly crisp. Leave the oven on. 4. Fill a large bowl with iced water. Finely slice the beetroots. kohlrabi and fennel. adding them to the bowl. Set aside. 5. Scatter the rice over 2 large baking trays and drizzle with oil. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. until crispy and crackling. Leave to cool. 6. Meanwhile,combine the tahini, yogurt. sumac and lemon juice. 7. Lay the rice on a large platter and scatter over the carrots. Drain the rest of the vegetables and arrange on top. Drizzle over the tahini mixture, then scatter over the pea shoots and mint. and serve. This recipe can be prepared in advance and kept separately until you're ready to assemble it and serve.

BARBECUED LAMB & BULGUR WHEAT SALAD

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Serves 6-8

Start this dish the day before you want to serve it.

1 tsp whole black peppercorns1 tsp fennel seeds1 tsp coriander seedsZest of 1 lime1 tsp paprika6 tbsp olive oil2 tbsp red wine vinegar2 tbsp chipotle pasteSaltLeaves from 1 bunch oregano6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed2 red chillies, chopped2kg leg of lamb, butterflied and bone removed

For the bulgur wheat salad300g bulgur wheat2 red onionsJuice of 2 lemons½ tsp brown sugar2 carrots, scrubbed2 tsp harissa paste

For the dressing1 bunch coriander½ medium bunch mint 2 cloves garlic, peeled1 green chilli (or to taste) 6 tbsp olive oil

1. In a small pan toast the peppercorns. fennel and coriander seeds for 30 seconds, or until they become fragrant and begin to pop. Transfer to a pestle and mortar or small blender and grind to a fine powder. Tip into a large bowl and mix with the lime zest, paprika, 6 tbsp olive oil, vinegar, chipotle paste and a large pinch of salt. Stir in the oregano leaves, garlic and chillies. 2. Lay the lamb flat on a baking tray and massage the marinade into the meat. Cover with cling film and leave overnight in the fridge. Remove from the fridge an hour before cooking. 3. Fire up the barbecue and make the salad while it heats. Pour the bulgur wheat into a medium pan and add three times the amount of water. Add a pinch of salt. bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the bulgur has puffed up and is cooked. Drain and leave to cool a little. 4. Peel and halve the red onions, then finely slice and put in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the onions. Season with salt and add the sugar. then squash with your hands until the onions turn bright pink. 5. Use a peeler to create long ribbons of carrot, then toss together with the onions. 6. For the dressing, chop the coriander, mint, 1 garlic clove and the green chilli as finely as possible. Place in a bowl and add enough olive oil to create a runny paste. 7. Cook the lamb on the barbecue, turning every 10 minutes. for 40-45 minutes. Transfer the cooked lamb to a board to rest for 15 minutes. 8. Toss half the carrot and onion mixture through the bulgur wheat and transfer to a platter. 9. Stir the harissa paste and juice of the remaining lemon through the bulgur salad. Drizzle over the dressing , keeping half aside for the table. 10. Slice the lamb and place on top of the bulgur salad. Scatter over the remaining onions and carrots and serve with the remaining dressing on the side.

MERINGUE WITH CHERRY & APRICOT COMPOTE

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Serves 6-8

You can make this dessert with whatever fruit is in season.

5 large free-range egg whites200g golden caster sugar50g soft brown sugarSalt

For the compote300g cherries, stoned4 figs quartered4 apricots, halved and stonedZest and juice of 1 lemon2 tsp honey1 punnet of edible flowers, to decorate

For the whipped yogurt250g Greek yogurt1 tsp vanilla bean paste60ml maple syrup200g creme fraiche

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Line a 40x25cm baking tray with greaseproof paper. 2. Check there is no shell or yolk in the egg whites and put them into the bowl of a freestanding mixer. making sure it's really clean. Whisk on medium-high until the whites form firm peaks. With the mixer still running, gradually add both the sugars and a big pinch of salt. Turn the mixer up to the highest setting and whisk for about 4-6 minutes. until the meringue is white and glossy. To test if it's ready, rub some of the mixture between your fingers. If it feels completely smooth, it's done: if it's slightly grainy, it needs a bit more whisking. 3. Dot each corner of the greaseproof paper with a blob of meringue to help stick it to the tray. Spoon the meringue on to the paper then, using the back of a spoon, shape and swirl it into a large round. 4. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. until crisp on the outside and a little soft and sticky inside. Leave to cool. 5. Meanwhile, put all the fruit in a pan along with the zest and juice of the lemon and the honey. Bring to a boil over a high heat for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. 6. In a large bowl whisk the yogurt with the vanilla paste and maple syrup, then fold through the creme fraiche. 7. With the back of a spoon smear the yogurt over the meringue. Scatter with the fruit, drizzling over the juices. then decorate with edible flowers.

barbecue recipes

(Image credit: Emma Lee)

Recipes/ Emily EzekielStyling/ Ali BrownPhotography/ Emma Lee