Bill Granger recipes: Firing up the barbecue? Here's how to get all your guests involved...

The great joy of a barbecue: everyone wants to get involved. So fire up, and be prepared for your plans to get a little tweaked

I find inviting friends over for a barbecue one of the easiest and most satisfying ways of entertaining in the summer. Make a dressing or a salsa, get whatever needs marinating marinating, then leave the actual cooking for when your friends have arrived.

Hanging around the barbecue, with the beautiful scent of grilling seafood and meat making everyone hungry and impatient, is all part of the ritual. It's what barbecues are all about as far as I'm concerned. I love the way friends will come over to the grill, spare beer in their hand, eager to help out. It's something people rarely feel comfortable doing when you're indoors in a real kitchen, in case they might be intruding.

Of course, with help comes loss of ownership of the recipes, which, before you know it, will have taken an unexpected direction. But so what if suddenly the squid has been cut into strips and skewered, or the dill dressing for the grilled vegetable salad has been pimped with the soured cream you meant to serve with the pork? I can be quite relaxed about stuff like that, but if it stresses you out to have your planned menu reinvented by a well-meaning helper, arrange the ingredients by recipe on to separate trays.

Or, if you want to be really unpopular, hand out printed copies of the recipes. Be warned, though, you'll probably have to go to the fridge to get your own beer after that…

Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, and 50 Sekforde Street, London EC1, tel: 020 7251 9032, grangerandco.com. Follow Bill on Instagram at bill.granger

Mixed grilled seafood with chunky tomato salsa

Peeling grilled prawns is messy, sticky work, but cooking them whole guarantees a beautiful charred flavour without losing any of the juiciness from the flesh.

Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
12 raw king prawns in their shells
6-8 cleaned squid
½ lemon

For the salsa

2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp toasted fennel seeds
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
4 tomatoes, halved, seeded and chopped
Handful mint, chopped
Handful parsley, choppe
d

First make the tomato salsa. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Season with sea salt. Set aside until ready to use.

Mix together the olive oil and chilli flakes and toss half through a bowl of the prawns then use the remainder to coat the squid. Season with salt. Preheat a barbecue to hot. Cook the prawns for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they change colour and start to char. Set aside to a large serving dish.

Cook the squid in the same way, skewering the tentacles if they are so small they look like they might fall though the grill rack. Place the squid in the same serving dish as the prawns and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon. Serve with the chunky tomato salsa.

Aubergine and courgette salad with feta and a spicy preserved-lemon dressing

Moving the vegetables from the barbecue straight into the dressing when they are still hot will ensure they soak in all the flavours without having to marinate for ages.

Serves 4

4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 small preserved lemon, rind only, chopped
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp toasted coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 garlic clove, crushed
Few dill sprigs, torn
2 aubergines, cut lengthways into thin slices
2 courgettes, cut lengthways into thin slices
200g feta

Aubergines and courgettes with a spicy preserved-lemon dressing Aubergines and courgettes with a spicy preserved-lemon dressing (Martin Poole)
Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, preserved lemon, chilli, coriander seeds, garlic and dill in a small bowl. Season with sea salt.

Preheat the barbecue to hot. Brush the vegetables with a little olive oil. Cook the aubergine slices for 2 minutes on each side, until well-charred and tender. Transfer to a bowl with half the dressing and toss well to combine. Barbecue the courgettes for 1 minute on each side, remove and toss into the aubergine. Set aside to cool.

To serve, break the feta cheese into big chunks on to a platter. Arrange the barbecued vegetables around it and spoon over the remaining dressing.

Paprika pork skewers with red pepper and parsley salad

You could barbecue fresh peppers for the salad, but I've chosen to keep things quick and easy, and used jarred.

Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
Few thyme sprigs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
600g pork shoulder, cut into 2cm cubes
Few fresh bay leaves
150g soured cream

For the salad

2 grilled red peppers from a jar, sliced into thick strips
Large handful flat-leaf parsley leaves
Juice ½ lemon
1½ tbsp olive oil

To serve

Flatbread
Lemon wedges

Pork skewers with a red pepper salad Pork skewers with a red pepper salad (Martin Poole)
Mix together the olive oil, paprika, thyme and half the garlic into a bowl. Stir in the cubed pork. Cover and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes. Thread the pork on to metal skewers with a couple of bay leaves on each skewer. Preheat a barbecue to hot. Cook the kebabs for 8 to 10 minutes, turning until browned all over.

Combine the soured cream and remaining garlic in a small bowl and season with sea salt. Set aside. Combine all the ingredients for the salad and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

Serve the skewers with the salad, garlic soured cream, warmed flatbread and lemon wedges, if you like.

Food preparation: Rosie Reynolds & Marina Filippelli; Props merchandising: Rachel Juke

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Day In a Page

    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

    Magnetic north

    The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
    Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

    Front National family feud?

    Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
    Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

    Pot of gold

    Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
    10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

    From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

    While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
    Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore