Vegetarian cooking on the BBQ

Last updated 05:00 12/12/2013

LIGHT ON FUSS: Filo pastry cooks well on a hot plate.

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When conjuring an image of a traditional Kiwi barbecue you'd be forgiven for thinking of big slabs of meat and an open beer.

But times have changed, tastes have broadened, and seafood and vegetables are now just as likely to take a starring role in a barbecue meal as the traditional steak and snags.

Barbecue expert and author of 'Fired Up Vegetarian' Ross Dobson suggests looking to Middle-Eastern, Asian and Indian cuisines for inspiration for either a vegetarian barbecue or vegetable side dishes.

"You're shooting yourself in the foot if you serve up a mock-hot dog," he says.  "Vegetarians feel like it's tokenistic and immediately won't touch it."

Dobson shares two recipes from his book below.


I love filo pastry. I use it to top, to wrap, to stuff and to roll, savoury or sweet. It's cheap, and you might be surprised to learn that it cooks very well on a hotplate. Enter barbecue. Need I say more.

6 filo pastry sheets, each measuring 44 x 28 cm (17½ x 11¼ inches)
200 g (7 oz) block haloumi cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 thin strips of preserved lemon rind
sea salt, for sprinkling
lemon wedges, to serve


Main ingredient Pastry
Type of dish Vegetarian
Course Finger food
Cooking time <30 min
Serves/makes 12 cigars
Special options Egg-free

1. Lay the filo sheets on top of each other.

2. Cut the stack in half lengthways, then cut across in half to give 24 smaller rectangles of pastry.

3. Lay the rectangles on top of each other and cover with a damp cloth.

4. Cut the haloumi into 12 thin fingers.

5. Combine the mint and olive oil in a bowl.

6. Lay two filo rectangles on top of each other and brush with some of the oil from the bowl.

7. Put a piece of haloumi on the short end of the pastry, top with a strip of preserved lemon, then fold the sides of the filo over the haloumi and roll up into a cigar shape.

8. Repeat to make 12 cigars.

9. Preheat the barbecue hotplate to medium.

10. Cook the cigars on the hotplate for 4-5 minutes, turning often, until the pastry is golden and charred.

11. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and serve hot, with lemon wedges on the side.

- Good Food

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