Anna Jones’s vegetarian barbecue recipes | Life and style

This week I bring you the two best things I ate last year at barbecues. One was cooked in my sister’s front yard in the LA sunshine; the other in my British back garden, hurriedly, before the dark clouds descended. Both were unreasonably delicious and are now firmly on my summer lineup. I’ve edged the barbecue closer to the back door so we needn’t even wait for the sun.

Feta, tomato and smoky pepper parcels (pictured above)

This is my take on Greek feta bouyiourdi, although I char my peppers first as it doubles the smoky hum. I use the pale yellow-green Turkish peppers: they are long and thin, sweeter and milder than their green pepper cousins, but, if you can’t find them, don’t worry. This is best done on the barbecue, but you can also char the peppers over a naked gas flame, then cook the parcels in the oven.

Prep 15 min
Cooking 25 min
Serves 2-4

2 fresh Turkish peppers or 1 green pepper
1 x 200g block feta, cut into 5 slices
1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved (I used different coloured ones)
1 tsp coriander seed, bashed in a mortar
1 pinch of dried oregano
Olive oil

Light the barbecue. Once hot and still roaring, cook the peppers directly on the flame until they are blackened all over. Take off the heat and, once cool, peel away most of the black skin and cut the flesh into slices, discarding the stems and seeds.

Put the feta slices on a piece of foil large enough to wrap around them. Top the cheese with the tomatoes, peppers, coriander, oregano and a drizzle of olive oil. Seal the foil at the top to make a little parcel.

Once the barbecue flames have died down and the coals are white, put the packet on to them and cook for 10-15 minutes (you could also do this in an oven at 220C/425F/gas 7).

It’s ready when each slice of feta is soft, the peppers cooked-through and the tomatoes sticky and roasted.

Charred carrot and fennel salad with spiced maple

Anna Jones’s charred carrot and fennel salad with spiced maple.



Anna Jones’s charred carrot and fennel salad with spiced maple. Photograph: Matt Russell for the Guardian

This is the kind of salad around which to build a meal: yoghurt, greens, charred carrots and fennel generously spiced and with a little sweet and sour. I used baby carrots here, but big ones work just as well.

Prep 10 min
Rest 30+ min
Serves 2-4

600g different coloured carrots, washed and scrubbed
2 bulbs fennel
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp Greek yoghurt
Salt and black pepper
2 handfuls peppery lettuce leaves

If you are using bigger carrots, cut them into halves, quarters or even thick coins. No need to peel. Fill a large pot with generously salted boiling water and blanch the carrots for seven to 12 minutes (depending on size), until they are cooked through but still holding their shape.

Meanwhile, slice the fennel into thin wedges across the root and toss with the cumin, fennel seeds, turmeric, maple syrup, vinegar and olive oil and seasoning in a baking tray. Drain the carrots and add them, tossing again. Leave to sit for at least 30 minutes – ideally for a few hours or overnight.

When you are ready to cook, heat the barbecue or griddle pan. If you are using a barbecue, cook the carrots and fennel slices on once the flames have died down but the coals are still red hot. Turn from time to time, until they are charred all over and soft throughout.

Meanwhile, mix the yoghurt with a few tablespoons of the remaining marinade and a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Spread the yoghurt over the bottom of a plate, toss the leaves in any remaining marinade and scatter them over the yoghurt. Put the charred carrots and fennel on top and serve.

  • Food styling: Anna Jones. Prop styling: Anna Wilkins. Food assistant: Nena Foster

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