Quick family barbecue salads

It such a simple pleasure to dine alfresco, even if New Zealand’s inclement weather doesn’t always oblige.

So when an unexpected pocket of lovely weather arrives, we often have to throw together a family barbecue at short notice. That’s why it’s handy to have some family-favourite, go-to barbecue salad and vegetable recipes.

Chargrilled vegetables and a quick black bean, corn and tomato salad are both easy to pull together at the last minute.

Most vegetables take less than 10 minutes to cook on a barbecue, and corn, capsicums, asparagus, eggplant and mushrooms are definite favourites. Most vegetables cook better and are less likely to stick if they are brushed lightly with cooking oil. For extra flavour, sprinkle grilled vegetables with your favourite seasonings, fresh herbs or lemon zest.

If you want to be adventurous, then marinade your vegetables for at least half-an-hour before you grill them. The dressing below makes a great vegetable marinade. Or you could simply baste the vegetables with a marinade as they cook.

A great accompaniment to steak and sausages is black bean, corn and tomato salad; a zingy, colourful, tasty option.

Hopefully your little ones will enjoy this salad as much as you do. Most kids seem to like corn, and you can tell them that the beans are just like baked beans. If your kids don’t like tomatoes, you could either leave them out or chop them to a size that’s easy to fish out.

summer_bbq_recipes_-_blackbean_corn_and_tomato_saladLime, corn, black bean and tomato salad

Dressing/vegetable marinade:

• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

• 1.5 tablespoons red wine vinegar

• 2 tsp garlic, finely minced

• 1.5 teaspoons salt

• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad:

• 1 can black beans

• 2 cups of corn kernels

• 250 g cherry tomatoes

• ½ cup of chopped coriander (optional)

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small jar with a tightly fitted lid. Shake thoroughly until the ingredients are completely combined. Set aside. This could be prepared ahead.

Drain and rinse the black beans, then transfer to a large bowl.

If you have fresh, young corn, you could simply add uncooked corn kernels. If your corn is more mature, or if you are using frozen corn then you might like to cook the corn before adding it to the salad. Add the corn to a small pot of boiling water for 3 to 5-minutes, drain and refresh under cold water to stop the cooking process. Add to the beans when cool.

Chop the tomatoes into small pieces, depending on your preference. Add to the beans and corn. You could use normal tomatoes, but you would need to remove the seeds before you chop them up.

Pour about half the dressing onto the salad mixture and gently mix all ingredients with a large spoon until well combined. You can use the rest of the dressing on your chargrilled vegetables.

If you have time, refrigerate before serving to allow the flavours to blend.

By Michelle Kitney, Munch. Images: Michelle Kitney, Munch.

Check out more Munch recipes: www.munchnz.co.nz.

Need ideas for kids’ lunches? Read Family Times’ article No more boring sandwiches!