When summer arrives, which it officially will tomorrow the 1st of June, a lot of wonderful things follow. Not only can you once again wear sandals, feel the warmth of the sun, bath in the see and eat ice cream every day, but when summer comes barbecue season follows. Since I am not a vegetarian, just a green loving girl, I do enjoy all the lovely sausages, beef, salmon, shrimps etc. that are absolutely adorable on the barbecue. But I really do prefer to enjoy it along with some grilled vegetables and leafy salads.
Sometimes it feels like the meat are getting prioritised over vegs, and people do not have the patients to wait for both the meat and the greens to get grilled and groovy – hence they skip the veggie part – not good!
So what can we do to solve this problem… I have tried to come up with some small tips on how to do this plus I’ve created a cool barbecue/vegetarian grilled dish that does not require all that much ‘stage’ time.
First of all if you are going to have all your vegetables grilled it could take a while. I would therefore recommend to only have one or two elements needing the attention of the barbecue. In this dish for example, the zucchinis are the only ones visiting – and the filling is prepared in the kitchen in advance.
Another tip is to slice and dice your veggies into thinner and smaller pieces. This way they will need shorter cooking time and they will get grilled, tasty and tender inside without the classic too burned, black surface. I like to pre marinate my vegetables in some sort of oily dressing. This way they will already have a lot of flavour, they will not stick to the grill and it is one more thing you can prepare in advance – which will make it so much easier and save time.
This recipe turned out to be both an amazing side dish for any barbecue party, but it is actually a wonderful vegetarian main as well. The filling is made from spelt pearl, goats cheese, sour cream, raisins and flavoured with spring onions, lemon and herbs. It is easy to prepare and you can make a double batch and keep it in the fridge for the next day – trust me you’ll get addicted.
The zucchinis was actually inspired by my sisters boyfriend. He made a wonderful grilled zucchini salad last time we visited, and I got kinda hooked. He had made a honey and lemon marinate and that was just so right for these spongy and watery zucchinis – so of course I copied his golden trick and made a similar one for these sliced fellows.
The dish is obviously perfect for the barbecue, but you can easily make it on a grill pan (which was what I did for this shoot) or you could even fry them in a hot pan, the dish will be great either way. I served it as a main, it got man-approved and it was both filling and satisfying. So go out enjoy your hopefully sunny weekend and try this dish the next time you heat up the barbecue and get groovy with your grill!
Grilled zucchini rolls with creamy spelt pearls
Makes 12-14 rolls
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp runny honey
Juice and zest from 1/2 organic lemon
Salt & pepper
Coarse kitchen salt
Creamy spelt pearls
3/4 cup cooked spelt pearls (150 g)
3,5 oz creamy goats cheese (100 g)
1/3 cup sour cream (100 g)
Juice and zest from 1/2 organic lemon
3-4 spring onions
A handful of raisins, chopped
A handful of almonds
Herbs as many as your prefer (I used mint, basil and parsley)
salt & pepper
Making the dish
1. Rinse the zucchinis and slice them vertical about 0,6 cm (1/4 inches) thick, not to thin or they will break while grilling. Rub coarse kitchen salt into them and set a side to drain for about 30 min.
2. Rinse the spring onions and slice them, use all the white and green parts. Add some oil in a skillet and sauté the onions and the cooked spelt pearls for about 5 min, remove and set a side.
3. Use the same skillet to roast the almonds in a bit of oil, remove when golden and sprinkle with salt. Chop them up when they have cooled.
4. In a bowl mix the goats cheese and sour cream, use a fork to mash it up. Chop the herbs and add them together with lemon zest and juice. Add the roasted spelt pearls and spring onion and chopped raisins. Add salt & pepper and season to taste.
5. Now rinse the zucchinis well, make sure all salt has been removed. Mix the honey and lemon marinate and pour half of it on the zucchinis. All the zucchini slices should be covered with marinate. Grill the slices on both sides until clear marks appear and they are starting to get tender.
6. Add a Tablespoon of filling on each of the zucchini slices and roll up. Use a tooth pick to keep them together or place the sealing downside on the platter.
Serve the zucchini rolls straight away or at least within an hour or two. Drizzle with the rest of the marinate and sprinkle with the roasted almonds. Enjoy!