This summer, more than any other, will be the summer of barbecues. As we practice social distancing, barbecues and picnics give us an opportunity to see our friends and family in an outdoor space that offers plenty of room for maintaining the necessary two metres of distance.
However, it doesn’t mean that all you can eat is hot dogs and hamburgers. Here is a healthy and delicious three-course meal that is quick and easy to prepare. So get out, enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, and start grilling.
(Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 10 minutes)
Pizza is always fun. And making barbecued pizza is even more fun! The intense heat and smokey flavour makes it the closest thing to a traditional wood fired oven. Get your kids to help prepare the toppings and choose their own assortment. Making pizza is a great way to get them interested in cooking.
1 can pizza sauce
Tomatoes, onions, peppers, olives
1 ball of pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1. Prepare all of the pizza toppings in advance. You need them available when the pizza crust is ready. Choose a mix of your favourite toppings. Set up your toppings on a platter next to the barbecue, with separate piles of toppings for each individual pizza.
2. Roll out your pizza dough. It’s easier to make a few smaller pizzas rather than one large pizza so aim for 10 inches or less.
3. Have the grill hot and ready to go. Brush one side of the pizza dough with olive oil. Lay the pizza dough on the gill with the olive oil side down.
4. Close the lid and let the dough cook for 2 minutes.
5. Check the crust, it should have some grill marks on it, but you don’t want it to be crisp.
6. Brush the top of the crust with olive oil, then flip it over (so the freshly oiled side is down). Quickly spread out the sauce, add the toppings and cheese. You want to do this quickly, which is why everything needs to be ready to go in advance.
7. Close the lid again and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Check a few times to make sure that the pizza isn’t burning.
8. Remove from the barbecue and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Grilled Caesar Salad
(Total time: 15 minutes)
One of my neighbours served this at a potluck last summer and it was a huge hit. It’s very quick, easy and impressive. If you want to turn it into a meal, then add some grilled chicken or tofu.
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup of mayonnaise
1⁄4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic
3 hearts of romaine lettuce
3 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
2 cups of croutons
1⁄2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1. Place all of the salad dressing ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Using mayonnaise reduces the risk involved with raw eggs.
2. Slice the romaine lettuce in half, lengthwise.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Place the cut side down on the barbecue and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. You want grill marks, but don’t want to completely wilt the lettuce.
5. Remove the romaine from the barbecue, drizzle with the salad dressing and top with croutons and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with a knife and a fork.
Grilled Peaches & Ice Cream
(Total Time: 15 minutes)
Enjoying fresh Okanagan peaches is one of my favourite parts of summer. A quick few minutes on the grill caramelizes the natural sugars in the peaches for a healthy and delicious treat. Be sure to use ripe juicy peaches for the best flavour.
4 ripe peaches
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1. Slice the peaches in half and remove the pits.
2. Brush with oil and grill, cut side down, for 4 minutes with the lid open.
3. Flip and grill for another 4 to 6 minutes. At this point the peaches will be very soft, almost falling apart. Use a spatula to gently move from the grill to a bowl or plate.
4. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.